National Lottery funding supported a three-year project by Down to Earth called "Building Community" (which ended in 2016), a project to construct a new training centre at the organisation’s new site on Gower, Swansea, using only natural materials. 'Hard-to-reach' groups including asylum seekers, people with disabilities, and former substance misusers worked together on the build to gain accredited training and qualifications.
The organisation also currently runs a National Lottery funded eight-week training course for disadvantaged young people not in education, employment or training. In April 2018, Down to Earth was also awarded new National Lottery funding to work with asylum seekers and refugees to improve their English and tackle Post Traumatic Stress Disorder through practical use of the outdoors. Clinical research undertaken on their approach proves it is as effective as antidepressants in reducing anxiety and depression.
Down to Earth Project Manager, Sebastian Haley, says: "We really have created something remarkable with this project – both in the legacy of what the building offers and also the impact on people’s live through the new training centre."
Alan Dee suffered a life-changing brain injury after falling off a roof in 2013. He struggled to communicate and lost all his confidence and self-esteem. He was referred to Down to Earth by the NHS to boost his physical and mental health.
"The sense of support and camaraderie that was engendered by staff members was like being wrapped in a warm blanket," says Alan.
"That feeling of security enabled me to take tentative steps back into the world and I quickly found myself taking huge strides."
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