Aspects of our work

Working with nature

Immersion and exploration in the natural world is at the heart of Dandelion Time’s approach.

Mounting evidence and research shows the positive impact of nature-based activities in supporting mental health, healing from trauma and reducing stress. Often children who struggle with overwhelming feelings experience a healing effect of being immersed within nature. Dandelion Time’s rural sites provide a time and place where children can forget about their worries, have a real sense of freedom and just ‘be’.

Animals can help us to feel calm, offer a non-judgemental space and give our thoughts a break

Connecting through nature

Our activities are seasonal, and nature based. Our tranquil and peaceful setting provides families with restorative opportunities, to foster hope and to begin to heal.

The children referred to us are often emotionally shut down and withdrawn. For many, establishing a connection with our animals – from feeding chickens and gathering eggs, to stroking friendly sheep and donkeys, cuddling guineapigs and cats, and putting animals to bed – is the first step in helping children build on their skills to empathise with others. Animals accept children unconditionally and are gentle and comforting, giving children a chance to experience what it is to trust and develop a sense of responsibility.

Our natural setting provides families restorative opportunities, to foster hope and for recovery

Promoting positive wellbeing

Our therapeutic approach is connected to healthy eating and good nutrition. Tending the sensory garden, and growing, harvesting and tasting fresh fruit and vegetables are therefore an important part of our family work.

Families cook simple, healthy vegetarian meals from scratch that can be easily replicated at home. (Kneading dough and baking bread is a particular favourite!) This promotes good nutrition and an opportunity to gain togetherness and ritual in fragmented family dynamics.