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Build New Connections

Snowdon is set in the north of Wales. It offers a brilliantly exhilarating experience to nearly half a million tourists per year. It is the second-highest point in the entire British Isles at a bit more than 1 000 m. From there the mountain peaks of the South Pennines and the Peak District is visible on a beautiful day. Some regard Snowdon as the perfect place to regain your perspective on life. Most of the people living closest to the brilliant peak has never been venturing uphill. Some consider the outdoors only for those who are adventurous of heart or maybe a popular activity, one which they never explore for themselves.

This local charity is determined to change these local perspectives on their mountain peak. The charity is working in aid of providing not only the necessary equipment for the locals to get out and explore the summit, but also the needed funding for the local people who are often impoverished, to get the qualifications required to venture into outdoor pursuits. Since 2003, the number of locals filling the positions of instructors to help others to explore the peak has risen from seven to 20%. Recently this charity received funding of £3 million to recreate their program in other communities surrounded mountains too. These projects include Newry, Cumbria and East Ayrshire.

Changing the Future of the Local Community

Through their brilliant work, the Outdoor Partnership is building connections, networks and most importantly, a career and a future for the local communities. Ryan Gibson, a 36-year-old local, stated that merely surviving was a difficult task for him. His financial strains wouldn’t allow for him to get any qualification. Through the charity, he was able to get various skill in kayaking, climbing and walking, and this has opened new career opportunities for him. Through their program, he went from living on the streets in Holyhead to now being an instructor who teaches those as young as five years old to adults, how to tame the local mountain tops. This allowed him to have the financial strength to support his wife and two children.

Influencing the Lives of Many

From 2006 up until March this year, the charity managed to reach out and make a difference in the lives of over 120 000 people. This meant an investment of £700 000 in training fees and the assistance of 4 500 volunteers and supporters. The result of this significant effort was 500 unemployed people finding a career on a mountain, which brings so much more than only an exhilarating experience to the community.

The charity took off in 2005 from the humble beginnings of a small 15 community-based clubs, situated in the north-western parts of Wales. Currently, they have more than 100 clubs involved. They aim to connect people, to create opportunities and to engage some into careers which is very far away removed from the standard labour market, while exploring the brilliant resources given by nature.