Earlier this year we launched our first Hills Skills programme for women with refugee/asylum seeker status living in and around London.
It involved three fun outdoor skills workshops delivered by qualified Mountain Leader Cathy, and ended with an in day hike in the Surrey Hills.
The aim of the programme was to enable participants to feel confident planning and leading walks in the beautiful British countryside for themselves, their family and their friends.
The programme covered:
- What kit and clothing is needed in the outdoors
- Finding and planning walks in your local area
- Following a route and not getting lost
- Basic map reading skills and using a compass
- Staying safe on a walk
- What to do in an emergency
In a post programme survey, participants told us as a result of the programme they felt more confident hiking independently as well as knowing what kit they should wear/take with them. They also said they felt more able to find and plan walks as well as follow a route and not get lost. They also felt more confident in their ability to stay safe and handle an emergency when out on a walk.
One of my personal favourite parts of the programme was everyone sharing their childhood experiences in the outdoors whether that be in UK, DRC, Cameroon, Yemen or Iran!
Here’s a bit about what our participants had to say:
“It was a wonderful experience. Hiking is one of the things I like but I only went to parks and hikes with people who know how to do it and I was not confident. This programme is amazing”
“I learned how to use the maps carte and to use the compass to find the right direction to take or where to go”
“This was the best day of my life in the UK!” (Said about the final hike in the Surrey Hills)
This Hills Skills programme was made possible thanks to the generous support of the YHA’s Outdoor Citizens initiative and Sport England. However, we’d love to expand the programme to reach more women across the country. Potential funders or funding leads please email email@example.com
This blog post was written by Adventure Queens Community Leader Nadia Weigh