A campaign that encourages more young people to get active outdoors is launching an Activity Days initiative this week.
The #itsgreatoutthere Outdoor Activity Days will allow more companies, organisations and individuals to get actively involved in the concept.
Crucially, it will deliver clear and measurable results that highlight the impact of every contribution, all aligned with the latest World Health Organisation's guidelines for physical activity.
Since its launch in 2017, the It’s Great Out There Coalition has grown into a pan-European movement, inspiring citizens to get active in the outdoors.
The coalition has promoted outdoor participation to the public and worked with European institutions to influence policy that encourages active lifestyles.
In addition, #itsgreatoutthere has directly helped to encourage more of the public into nature for the first time, with thousands of young people across Europe benefiting from grants that have supported grass roots projects.
- Read our guide to the best day packs
- How to have fun camping with teenagers
- 30 days wild campaign returns in 2021
Support from #itsgreatoutthere
Any non-profit organisation can apply for an #itsgreatoutthere grant. So far the coalition has supported 19 projects, directly benefiting almost 5500 people. New participants have experienced activities such as climbing, camping, hiking, adventure racing, orienteering, canyoning, skiing and snowboarding.
Following the impact of COVID-19 on the non-profit sector, the coalition, supported by the European Outdoor Group, adapted the scheme in order to provide help for a greater number of smaller projects that would otherwise struggle to get underway.
Last summer, 10 projects were awarded grants, in Germany, Spain, Sweden, France, Serbia and the UK. The initiatives allow young people from many different backgrounds and some very challenging circumstances to experience outdoor activities for the first time.
In the UK, one group that received a grant was Outdoor People for their Get Out After Lockdown Project. The aim is to will help disadvantaged families in London to rebuild their confidence and get outdoors more regularly.
The micro-grant was to organise two "get-to-know-you" Wild Walks and to host a post-lockdown Family Camping trip to teach key skills and have fun outdoors.
The organisation has vast experience in working with BAME, low-income and single parents and helps families moving from almost no time in green spaces towards going outdoors every day.
For more information about the #itsgreatoutthere grants programme, visit www.itsgreatoutthere.com/grants.
Fiona Russell is a widely published adventure journalist and blogger, who is better known as Fiona Outdoors. She is based in Scotland and is an all-round outdoors enthusiast with favourite activities including trail running, mountain walking, mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon and skiing, both downhill and back country. Her target for 2021 is to finish the final nine summits in her first round of all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains of more than 3,000ft high. Aside from being outdoors, Fiona's biggest aim is to inspire others to enjoy the great outdoors, especially through her writing. She is also rarely seen without a running skort! Find out more at Fiona Outdoors.
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