Outdoor charity expands in Wales
A charity that helps people engage in outdoor activities with the aim of improving their lifelong health and well-being has expanded from its base in Capel Curig to cover the all of Wales.
The Outdoor Partnership has appointed four new Outdoor Development Officers to cover central and south Wales with financial support from the Welsh Government’s Enabling Natural Resources and Well-being (ENRaW) program.
ENRaW supports the development and implementation of projects that establish clear links between improving the resilience of our natural resources and well-being.
Funding is provided by the Welsh Government Rural Communities – Rural Development Program 2014-2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.
Founded in North Wales for over 15 years, The Outdoor Partnership expanded to Northern Ireland, Scotland and Cumbria in 2020
The association’s new development officers are Sioned Thomas for the Swansea Bay area, Brett Mahoney for Gwent, Bethan Logan for central Wales (Powys and Ceredigion) and Leila Connolly for central South Wales .
They hope that the success of Welsh and British competitors at this summer’s Olympics in Japan will inspire more people across Wales to get involved in sports and outdoor activities.
They will support new and existing outdoor activity clubs to engage more people in activities ranging from sailing to rock climbing and walking.
The association’s projects develop confidence, skills and teamwork to provide stepping stones to new opportunities and a healthier life. Through volunteering, education, participation, training and employment, he says there is a place for everyone to change for good.
Over the past 15 years, his projects have provided over 100,000 opportunities for outdoor health and wellness activities, trained over 4,000 volunteers, helped over 500 unemployed return to work, created more of 80 community outdoor clubs and groups with 7,000 plus participating members and provided lasting opportunities to over 1,000 people with disabilities.
The Outdoor Partnership’s mission is to improve opportunities for more people in Wales to realize their potential through outdoor activities.
Happy to develop and expand The Outdoor Partnership in Central and South Wales, Managing Director Tracey Evans said: âWe are helping people improve their lives by participating in outdoor activities in North Wales. Wales for over 15 years and last year Northern Ireland, Ayrshire and Cumbria.
âIt’s fantastic to now develop services across Wales. Many thanks to the Welsh Government’s Enabling Natural Resources and Well-being (ENRaW) program for providing the necessary financial support to make this happen.
Excited by her new role in the Swansea Bay area, Sioned said: After more than a year of blockages, lack of sporting events and competitions, I think watching the Olympics has brought everyone together and has again aroused enthusiasm for the sport.
“I especially enjoyed watching new sports like rock climbing, surfing and skateboarding and I hope this inspires a whole generation to start a new activity.”
Brett said, âI look forward to staying and working with local vendors, clubs and community groups to improve outdoor activity opportunities for Gwent residents.
âI hope that the introduction of sport climbing to the Olympics will inspire and encourage more local people to take up rock climbing and access the great outdoors. The health and wellness benefits are enormous.
Bethan says she is thrilled to join The Outdoor Partnership and plans to promote more opportunities for people in central Wales to get involved in outdoor activities.
âI hope everyone was glued to their TV screens during the Olympics, inspired by local athletes like Hannah Mills who showed us what you can accomplish,â she said.
âI loved watching sport climbing at the Olympics for the first time, in a pretty exciting format. Who knows, maybe the next Shauna Coxsey will come to this side of the border.
âThe GB team didn’t win gold in climbing, no one can touch Slovenian Janja Garnbret, but we couldn’t ask for a better role model for women and men in climbing. “
Leila says she is grateful for the opportunity to work with The Outdoor Partnership to develop sports, clubs and outdoor activities in Wales.
“With the number of Welsh participants in this year’s Olympics, I think the inspiration is huge,” she added. âWe can see Welsh athletes like Hannah Mills really scoring gold.
âI believe this Olympic success will continue to motivate the Welsh in sport and, most importantly, improve access to have fun, explore and protect our famous green and coastal outdoor spaces.
âHannah Mills started at the Cardiff Sailing Club when she was only eight years old. It’s wonderful to be part of an organization that works hard to open the doors to the outdoors for everyone because everyone needs the first door to open, just like Hannah Mills.