Play in Mind

We have launched a new service, supporting children with emerging mental health challenges to develop resilience through the power of play in nature. We work with schools to provide support within the school day, and run sessions after school in woodland in Dalkeith on a Friday, and in blocks in other locations on Wednesdays. (A run of Gorebridge sessions is starting 27 April.)

There is evidence that self-directed play, in particular opportunities for children to experience adventure and challenges, help children to build resilience and manage stress. The benefits of nature to mental health are also well evidenced, and natural spaces such as woodlands also happen to be great places for self-directed play!

We work with children aged 7-10 who are beginning to show signs they would benefit from support. The aim is to support children early, before they require more intensive or specialist support. This could include children with anxiety or stressors in their lives, or going through transitions. 

Feedback so far is hugely encouraging.

"I always used to be scared going into school but now I just feel really happy I get to go to school […] Whenever I used to go to school I just didn’t like to leave my mum but now I just feel like I can go into school and I’m absolutely fine." (child)


"His behaviour has definitely changed. He had OCD. I’ve noticed that he’s not actually got the OCD tendencies anymore after the sessions." (parent)

"I used to sit inside all day and play video games. Now I want to play outside with my friends." (child)

Children need to be referred to the service, but families can self-refer - this can be as straightforward as a phone conversation. To find out more about how to refer, please contact Jenny at or on 01875 820 889.