Amazing things are still happening

By Col Stocker

Over the last month the Alpkit Foundation has committed to supporting another 50 projects, groups and individuals that are focused on helping people to go nice places and do good things.

We know it’s difficult, uncertain times for everyone, however we are really inspired and excited by the continuing dedication and amazing work out there. Whether that’s instilling a lifelong passion for the outdoors, protecting us when we are out there, or using the benefits to support peoples physical and mental health. So we are really looking forward to hearing how they are getting on and we’ll be sure to report back on progress when we get it!

To kick things off, here’s just a small shout out to some of the projects we’re excited to support. More to follow!

Rowan Humberstone is a new forest school for adults with learning disabilities in Cambridge. They will be running sessions that really maximise the benefits of Forest schools, particularly for those with learning disability. Including improvements to mental and physical wellbeing, self-awareness, self-confidence, social and communication skills, emotional intelligence, risk awareness, resilience, strength of character and a connection with nature.

Clmbxr is a climbing community that is supporting black and underrepresented minorities to get on the walls by helping to fund entry fees and shoe hire for first timers and underprivileged members. Ultimately it’s about making climbing more inclusive and welcoming to a wider audience and they have set themselves the grand target of encouraging 10,000 first time climbers by 2022!

Headway East-Lothian is a front line, small, community based, charity devoted to helping adults in East Lothian with acquired brain injury (ABI), their carers and family. Support was needed for their "get out of the house safely" project, to help with Covid safe transport, volunteer costs and other incidental costs incurred whilst helping out vulnerable and often elderly members to improve their wellbeing by leaving the isolation of their homes.

Supporting their students, Oakwood infant and nursery school in Derby found a recent questionnaire revealing that almost half of parents felt that their children did not get enough time outdoors, with 71% of children spending less than 5 hours per week outdoors. They are developing a forest school area to decisively change the current curriculum that typically includes just 2 hours of (mainly indoors) PE, ensuring that children spend significant amounts of time engaged in outdoor education activities every week, in all weathers.

Growing Lives project from Derventio Housing Trust looks to take small groups of people out on day trips, where they can socialise and get some outdoor exercise. The people they work with are facing challenges such as poor mental health, drug/alcohol issues and social exclusion, and the coronavirus situation has led to increased anxiety and loneliness.

Primarily meeting and climbing indoors, Edinburgh Climbing Meet-up is a group that is actively encouraging and helping its members to make that move to bouldering outside.

The Ross Road Food Growing project is setting up a pilot scheme for localised sustainability by encouraging people to get to know their neighbours through food growing, sharing support and getting people to grow food for themselves by sharing techniques for utilising space whether it be a plant pot or plot.

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