Muddy Care CiC

Muddy Care CIC is an innovative educational rehabilitation programme and a lifelong support community for people of working age (18- 65) with chronic conditions.  It provides tools and strategies in relation to all six facets of holistic health and wellness to enable people to manage their chronic conditions more effectively and independently and is building a community to help support those with chronic conditions through a variety of mediums.

Muddy Care CIC was designed and written by the CEO Claire Lovell, a retired GB athlete and professional teacher and outdoor educator who became seriously ill in 2011 and again in 2014 from a virus damaging vital organs.  As a result, she now has several significant chronic conditions. Since 2011 Claire has researched holistic health and wellness in relation to chronic conditions and in 2015 she started to write an outdoor educational rehabilitation programme for people who find their lives turned upside-down by their chronic conditions.  Claire receives outstanding medical care from the University of Wales hospitals but rehabilitation services for someone with her conditions did not exist until Muddy Care was formed.  Muddy Care CIC became live in April 2019 and is going from strength to strength.

Research carried out by Muddy Care highlights that rehabilitation services predominantly only support the chronic conditions of brain, spinal and some cardiac conditions.  There are services for pain management, but these services vary county to county in what they can offer.  If your chronic condition falls outside of these categories (which several thousands of people with chronic conditions in Wales do) there is nothing in terms of rehabilitation services for these people.   NHS funding has not been commissioned for this section of people and this is where third-party organisations such as Muddy Care CIC become vitally important, as do funding initiatives such as the Arwain LEADER Programme.

The Arwain LEADER Programme have supported the community interest company from the beginning and have provided 80% of the funding for the long-term mini pilot rehabilitation programme (LTMPRP).  Muddy Care are eternally grateful for Arwain’s belief, trust and financial support in their vision, ethos, innovation and objective, to support a section of people that have been neglected for years.  And for those who fall into this category in rural areas, their research would suggest that this neglect is even greater.  This article is about how Muddy Care has adapted and responded as a rural community interest company during COVID 19.

Muddy Care is based in south Powys.  Their mini-pilot long term outdoor education rehabilitation programme is currently being trialled with extraordinary results amongst the participants.  It is delivered exclusively outside in blue and green natural spaces, using various outdoor activity mediums to promote learning of a variety of themes specific to chronic conditions.  The outdoor educational rehabilitation programme is designed, delivered and managed by professional teachers and outdoor educators, one of whom is Claire.  All educational themes are attached to an area of holistic health and wellness.  

To find out what Muddy Care have done to support participants during coronavirus see here.

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LEADER Local Development Fund


Louise Nicholson
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