From Madrid to the mountains with support from #itsgreatoutthere
Last year, we awarded a series of #itsgreatoutthere micro-grants to projects around Europe, as part of our response to the impact of COVID-19 on the non-profit sector. Supported by the European Outdoor Group, we adapted our existing grants scheme in order to help a greater number of smaller projects that would otherwise struggle to get underway. One of the initiatives that we backed was the Federacion Madrileña De Montañismo Mountaineering Youth Programme in Spain and the team there has recently sent us some great feedback.
The Mountaineering Youth Programme introduces young people (aged 12–17) in Madrid with very limited access to nature, to mountain activities, such as orienteering, mountaineering, alpinism, climbing, canyoning and mountain survival. A group of eight boys and girls were given the opportunity to take part in completely new outdoor experiences, carefully supervised by experienced professionals. Thanks to the #itsgreatoutthere grant, the Mountaineering Youth Programme was able to arrange transport and accommodation for the Madrilenas and Madrilenos.
Responses from the young people were hugely positive and they described how they were able to overcome any fears with the help of the instructors. One said, “Before the activity I was nervous but confident – I knew I could do it and I knew I was with the best of the best.” Another added, “My biggest challenge was to overcome my fear of heights. I had never done anything like this before.” A third highlighted their favourite part of the adventure: “To overcome my fears and share the experience with other young people who haven´t done it before.” Crucially, the participants are already talking about their next expedition to the mountains: “In my next trips I´m going to keep fighting the fear of heights and I look forward to do this kind of climbing again.” That’s exactly the kind of result we love to hear about!
For their part, the team at the Mountaineering Youth Programme were clear about the importance of the #itsgreatoutthere grant: “Our activities depend on the budget available and the support helped to do an extra activity. We have been able to initiate a lot of young people into the mountaineering activities for the first time.”
We continue to award #itsgreatoutthere grants to deliver Outdoor Activity Days around Europe – keep checking our website for news from those projects. You can find out more about our grants programme here.