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Nature & Wellbeing projects

Read about some of the amazing projects that have taken place at the Barn recently. 

logs across a stream
Headgerow foraging.jpg
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WIRE volunteering project

The “Women in Empowerment & Recovery” (WIRE) with women from Addictions North EastAddictions North East (A-NE) is a registered charity providing supported housing and recovery support to women and men suffering from addiction. A-NE provides learning support and group work toward the 12 steps to addiction recovery.

The pilot project offered opportunities to grow, harvest, and cook food, as well as learn traditional seasonal crafts, chutney making, and preserving.

The project name “WIRE” was defined by the women themselves. The project was funded with a grant from East Durham Community Trust (EDCT), deriving from the government’s ” Know Your Neighbourhood Fund”, which is designed to widen participation in volunteering and tackle loneliness.

Dr Sue Robson, the evaluator, has 38 years of feminist community development experience with marginalised women and girls. Sue has an extensive track record in evaluation and research, including a doctorate in Applied Social Science from Durham University awarded in 2016. Sue founded Tina’s Haven, a catalyst for developing holistic support services for mothers severed from trauma-based addiction, in memory of her daughter. Tina’s Haven is an intervention that aims to ensure women are offered the right support, at the right time, in the right place; and to enable women to have agency, safety and make meaning of their lives in a place free from harm and blame.  

Read the evaluation here

Quotes from the women about the session.


''The Barn has been instrumental in my recovery journey, I absolutely love attending here, and I will be forever grateful to Nicki, Ellie and Jennie, and the rest of the team.''


'I’ve loved it every minute of it also it’s helped my healing and recovery immensely. I've learned a lot and love the women there and will miss it so much. It’s compassionate loving and being able to connect with nature is so soothing I found it to be very therapeutic and have huge amounts of love.'


The sessions have helped my recovery and mental health massively. It has also helped my confidence.'

Tina's Haven

collage of images

 Tina’s Haven January 2023 to September 2023

 Project partners Tina’s Haven, Addictions North East, The Women’s Liberation Collective, The Barn at Easington, East Durham Creates


Tina's Haven is a pioneering groundbreaking project researching and building holistic and therapeutic support to birth mothers severed from their children by addiction. The project was delivered in a beautiful, calm, safe, outdoor setting at The Barn at Easington. Tina’s Haven was born out of one family’s own tragic personal experience of severance, trauma, and loss, along with a determination to create something positive and hopeful and to bring about change. The intention was to develop a replicable model of holistic and therapeutic support that is based on nature and art.

 The project included a 9-week psycho-educational course Own My Life delivered by Jo Costello from The Women’s Liberation Collective.

Forest bathing session led by artists Nicola Balfour and Elaine Beard and trauma therapist Ingrid Ford

Photography sessions led by photographer Sharon Bailey.

Taster film sessions led by Ellin Hare.

The project resulted in a 4-week exhibition of the women’s photographic work at The Arts Cafe East Durham Trust and a comprehensive evaluation of the impact of the project on the women from ANE by Dr Sue Robson



East Durham creates logo
Tina Logo
Lottery community fund logo
addictions north east logo
the womens liberation collective logo
The Barn at Easington logo

Field of Hope

Field of Hope November – December 2022


A  research project delivered at The Barn at Easington working with women under the care of Addictions UK and Sue Robson founder of Tina’s Haven The workshops were delivered at the Barn at Easington in November 2022 led by arts practitioners and highly experienced trauma-informed therapists, trained in addiction recovery, and women’s self-empowerment.


The aim of the development phase was to introduce the Barn to a group of women from Addictions UK through a series of taster sessions in Forest Bathing/land art, photography, and sound sessions all based in the outdoor environment. The aim of the project was to give agency to the women and enable them to be involved in creative ways to tell their individual stories by being more deeply connected to the natural world.

A beautiful film created by filmmaker Ellin Hare, co-director at The Barn at Easington, documents the women's journey that resulted in an exhibition of photographs made by the women from ANE at The Arts Cafe East Durham Trust. Watch the video below.

Project partners

East Durham creates logo
Tina logo
addictions north east logo
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Wild Winter Walks

Wild Winter Walks September 2021- December 2021

 East Durham Trust and Durham County Council Covid 19 Recovery grant funded 30 well-being walks from The Barn at Easington. We took participants through a carefully structured mindful walk to connect with nature and calm our nervous systems. We walked with over 100 adults and worked alongside Mind and East Durham Trust. It was a lovely heart-warming project that brought people from all over County Durham to experience.

Comments from the sessions.
A really lovely session, I felt really peaceful in the forest"
"Absolutely fantastic. Loved every minute of it, relaxing and clearing my head ,lying in a hammock."

"Absolutely loved it. At one with the forest life: trees, birds, flowers. earth. So pretty, perfectly peaceful. As always this was a fantastic session."

 "Calming with Forest Bathing and really interesting learning about filming."

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