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The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week (10-16 May) was nature. Since the start of the Covid pandemic millions have turned to nature. Research shows that going for walks outside is our top coping strategy and green space is vital for our mental health and wellbeing, not only does it help reduce stress it also increases our creativity.

To celebrate nature Debenhams Ottaway ran a #ConnectWithNature photo competition to encourage the team to get outdoors and enjoy the nature around them. For every entry received Debenhams Ottaway donated £10 to Youth Talk. In total £1,000 was raised.

David Barker, Chief Executive at Youth Talk, comments:

“A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the Debenhams Ottaway #ConnectWithNature photo competition in aid of Youth Talk this mental health awareness week. Nature has bought many of us solace throughout the pandemic and we were delighted to see such a stunning array of pictures that you have captured from your walks and time in the great outdoors.

We really struggled to identify a winner but felt the photo of the tree amidst the mist and fog reflected the sense of how young people can struggle with their mental health – but at the same time – this photo brings a real sense of hope with the sunshine starting to break through.

Well done and thank you to the winner, Lesley Berry, for this powerful photo. 

We hope you can each continue to make time to enjoy our beautiful countryside to help manage your emotional wellbeing. Thank you once again on behalf of all the young people we help, your continued support when times are tough means so much to us.”


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