Sports nutrition company, VOOM, is donating £5 from every sale of its new beanie hat, pledging a minimum of £1,500 towards a new project helping frontline workers whose mental health has suffered during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The Sanctuary Project’, run by conservation charity, Friends of the Lake District, aims to use the proven benefits of nature to boost the mental and physical wellbeing of exhausted workers whose mental health has suffered after months on the frontlines of fighting the coronavirus pandemic. 

Through activities such as coppicing, bushcraft, woodland wild camping and open water swimming, or simply spending meditative time in the outdoors, participants will be encouraged to use nature to rebuild their resilience and cope with the demands of these unprecedented times. Nature will benefit too as activities such as tree planting will help protect and enhance the precious landscapes of the Lake District. 

Chris Roxburgh, VOOM Ambassador and Powerman Duathlete said: 

I myself have suffered from mental health issues during my time as a Paramedic and I know how people suffer. I find that exercise and being outside has always helped me and this fantastic project combining nature and frontline workers is a brilliant idea. 

Friends of the Lake District‘s Landscape Engagement Officer, Ruth Kirk, said: 

“Since the COVID outbreak, two things have become clear: how much we rely on nature and how much we rely on our frontline workers. We wanted to find a way to give back, supporting both nature and our frontline services. 

“We believe our new Sanctuary Project will achieve both, and we couldn’t be more grateful to the team at VOOM. Their support will make a real and lasting difference.” 

VOOM’s Director, Robin Higgens added: 

“Everyone either knows someone who suffers with mental health problems, or experiences challenges with their own mental health and the effect of the pandemic has only amplified this. 

“As outdoor enthusiasts ourselves at VOOM, we know first-hand how powerful spending time in nature can be. In supporting the Sanctuary Project, we want to help as many NHS and emergency workers as possible find ways of both managing and improving their mental health. 

“It’s great to see this project using nature to help people build resilience whilst helping protect and enhance the Lake District landscapes which we all enjoy.”

The Sanctuary Project will run for an initial period of 12 months, with hope for expansion beyond that. 

The VOOM beanie hat is made from reflective yarn so wearers can be seen in the dark and has a Polar Fleece lining for warmth. The hat costs £12 and can be bought online at: