Home   News   Article

Ramblers Scotland invites young people to gain outdoor skills in free Out There Award

By John Davidson

Register for free to read more of the latest local news. It's easy and will only take a moment.

Click here to sign up to our free newsletters!

An award that offers young people from deprived areas and diverse backgrounds a chance to gain the skills and confidence to access the outdoors is expanding this year.

The scheme, run by Ramblers Scotland, offers 18 to 26-year-olds an opportunity to gain introductory outdoor skills, learn about responsible access and enjoy sociable walks alongside like-minded young adults.

It will take place during 2023 in Inverness as well as Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife and Glasgow.

The award is free and is coming to Inverness this year.
The award is free and is coming to Inverness this year.

The award-winning Out There Award aims to breaking down barriers to walking. During a total of 11 events last year, 54 per cent of participants were from minority ethnic backgrounds, 30 per cent identified as LGBTQI+, six per cent were not cis-gender, and 12 per cent had a disability.

Sam Knight, Ramblers Scotland’s young adult development officer, said: “We’ve world-class access rights in Scotland and booming numbers out walking, yet sadly too many people still feel the outdoors is not for them, simply due to their background, ability or age.

“We know that young adults in particular can lack walking partners and knowledge of where to walk. We have co-designed the award alongside young people to ensure the Out There Award offers a friendly, welcoming and safe environment for beginners to try walking, learn navigational skills and have fun together.”

Scottish Government research shows that people in affluent areas are considerably more likely to walk than those in deprived parts of Scotland, so Ramblers Scotland focuses on running award events in accessible locations near residential areas, with good public transport links.

Mr Knight added: “We’re excited to vastly expand the Out There Award this year, as we’re determined to break down the barriers that stop some young people from enjoying all the health and social benefits of exploring Scotland on foot.

“That’s why we hold our awards near urban areas and, on completion, participants receive a year of free Ramblers Scotland membership and link them to our six young walkers groups so they can continue building on their new skills.”

Participants also receive a walking starter pack worth £26, containing useful items such as a dry bag, neck buff and emergency whistle.

The Out There Award offers a chance to meet like-minded people.
The Out There Award offers a chance to meet like-minded people.

Registration for the award is now open for 32 two-day events at seven locations across Scotland. For more information, see www.ramblers.org.uk/outthereaward

The Out There Award is funded by the Scottish Government and players of People’s Postcode Lottery. It won the Walking Innovation category at the 2021 Scottish Walking Awards.

The Ramblers' Inverness Young Walkers group organises walks in the Highlands and encourages people to join them.

Do you want to respond to this article? If so, click here to submit your thoughts and they may be published in print.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More