The pattern can be seen in both the County Administrative Report and in Västerås city's welfare indicators: Swedes generally have better health than immigrants. Compared to other districts in the county, ill health is greater at Bäckby, where more new arrivals live. The fact that nature and a rich outdoor life contribute positively to health is established by a number of research projects. Therefore, the County Administrative Board, the municipality, the housing company Mimer, and Yonderful and Västerås Folk High School put together a project called "Naturally Bäckby"
During the autumn, the students who usually train for student assistants at the folk high school have been given an intensive course in the subjects nature, health, public law and outdoor life.
- We have been to Björnön but also in nature near Bäckby to show how easily accessible nature is, says Anna Bären, project manager for Naturally Bäckby.
Learning what the universal right means, how to recognize plants, berries and fungi and what animals are found in Swedish nature have been some of the knowledge that has been taught.
- We have understood that the distance to Swedish nature is often about being foreign. You may not know if there are animals or plants that can be dangerous and therefore do not feel safe when you are there. While a person who grew up with it can relax and use nature to feel good.
The students have already taught their knowledge to newcomers attending folk high school and will compile a material that is uploaded, free to download and use, for anyone who wants. Here you will find more about the material.