Location, accessibility and lack of representation are just some of the barriers that can limit people accessing the outdoors. Steppers UK is an outdoors organisation that aims to promote diversity outdoors and support Black, Asian & Ethnic minorities to build positive relationships with the outdoors through participating in outdoor activities
Their AONB challenge will see Steppers UK
take groups of diverse and under represented people to visit all 46 Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This project will allow these communities to reconnect with the outdoors & discover the physical & mental benefits. One regular barrier faced is transport. So founder Cherelle Harding, applied to the Alpkit Foundation for help covering travel costs out to 2 Areas of Natural Beauty, for those who would usually have limited access to visit rural parts of the United Kingdom. Being able to get a mini bus together really allowed them to provide a great service, opening up the opportunity to many super keen individuals who would otherwise have struggled to access the experience.
"The award has helped members of black, Asian and ethnic minority communities find a comfortable and familiar space to explore the countryside with – and not having to worry about transport. For many it was their first exposure to the outdoors which may not have been possible without the transport. It has allowed these communities to take part in a shared activity with people who have a commonality. In turn participants have felt more confident navigating outdoor spaces."
Transport has made it easier for us to attend walking activities as I don’t drive so I always felt like I was missing out. Having this access means that I can participate in an activity I have always wanted to try but felt uncomfortable to go alone’ – T