Staff and service users at Pathways, a day centre in Mirfield for people with mental health problems, have been working hard to enhance their local countryside.
The team, which consists of nine service users and two staff members, have worked on a range of projects at various locations across south west Yorkshire.
The work carried out so far has involved working on public rights of way; cutting back vegetation; repairing dry stone walls; putting up sign posts and building steps.
Most recently they have helped to repair a bridge at Bradley Woods, sorted out drainage problems and built a fence and gate to allow entry onto open access land.
The project set out to enhance local people’s enjoyment of their surroundings and boost the esteem of the Pathways’ service users. Day Centre Officer Ken Ward who initiated the project said "The knowledge that they are doing something good for their local community gives our service users a real sense of purpose".
Anne Sharpe, Resource Development Manager said, "Too many people are quick to dismiss people with mental health problems, but there are a lot of skilled people in the group and what they’ve achieved through this project is really impressive."
Pathways is recognised as an effective and forward thinking mental health service. It is run in partnership between South West Yorkshire Mental Health Trust and Kirklees Council. Its focus is on helping people become more independent and integrating them into the community. It is hoped that the project will give volunteers the confidence to take part in other local schemes.