Conservation Volunteers Australia


Conservation Volunteers Australia


Green Gym: natural exercise for health and wellbeing


Hunter, NSW



Funding Dates

November 2017 - December 2018

The issue

Studies have shown that carers are at greater risk of having mental and physical health issues compared to the general Australian population. Compared with the general population, carers were at significantly greater risk of having a mental health problem and report lower levels of vitality, even after controlling for demographic characteristics. More than one third of carers experience severe or extreme stress due to the demands associated with caring. This can have an impact on relationships, social isolation, as well as, mental and physical health and wellbeing.

The project

Conservation Volunteers Australia is Australia's leading practical conservation charity, delivering more than 3,500 individual projects annually to achieve social, environmental and economic outcomes that benefit Australia's people and the environment.

Conservation Volunteers Australia's vision is to inspire change by connecting people with nature. With our funding support, Conservation Volunteers Australia will bring a new outdoor program to Newcastle called "Green Gym".  This free program will be made available to the region's carers to enable them to connect with nature, have fun, be social, rejuvenate and improve physical health and fitness.

Green Gym is based on an award-winning UK eco-therapy model and will take place in Glenrock State Conservation Area. With support from peers, participants will be guided by CVA's team leader in practical activities such as planting trees, removing invasive species and creating new nature trails - eco-friendly activities that aim to reduce social isolation and improve physical and mental wellbeing.

The impact

The Green Gym program provides carers with the opportunity to be outdoors, stay active, connect with nature and become part of a social and supportive community network.

Through participation in collaborative eco-friendly activities, the program has been proven to benefit participants' mental health and fitness, relieve stress and anxiety, reduce social isolation, as well as boost self-esteem and confidence from learning new skills. In addition, participants will be given an insight into the positive effects that nature can have on community health and wellbeing.

For more information on the project visit Conservation Volunteers Australia.