The Kent Environment Champions Group are celebrating organisations and individuals who have gone that extra mile to create a positive outcome for the environment, health and economy of Kent over the past year.
Dandelion Time has greatly improved the health and well being of nearly 1,000 families across Kent using the natural environment as the basis of an innovative therapeutic approach.
At Dandelion Time, children and carers participate in a wide range of sensory activities in order to help them overcome their challenges. They care for the farm animals and gardens, take part in natural crafts including green woodwork, pottery and wool work, and cook using food they have grown and harvested on the farm. With specialist guidance and support, these activities help them gain confidence and self-esteem, relate better to carers and their peers, and ultimately improve their emotional well being.
The productive nature of craft work is key in this process, as children are provided with lasting evidence of their abilities, significantly raising their self-esteem. Crucially, their resilience grows as they learn to cope with set-backs and challenges, overcoming upsetting emotions and behaviours in the process, and learning new responses to complex feelings. Working in the gardens, and caring for the donkeys, sheep, chickens and other animals gives children strong sense of self-worth. As they learn to feed and nurture creatures that rely on them, they start to recognise their own value and grow in self-awareness. For many children, working with the animals helps them become calmer and start to express their worries.