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Young People Benefit From New #itsgreatoutthere Grants

‘Ich will da rauf!’ (Inclusion Rocks!) in Germany brings people with and without disabilities together to climb, with 14 groups for young people, adults and families, and participants between the ages of six and 83. The grant will allow the team to organise two days of climbing outdoors for up to 16 youngsters.

Ten projects will be supported in the latest round of #itsgreatoutthere grants from the It’s Great Out There Coalition (IGOTC). Local initiatives in six countries, mainly involving young people, will each receive €1,000 to help them get new participants active in the outdoors.

The activities include climbing, camping, trekking, adventure racing, orienteering, canyoning, skiing and snowboarding. As well as backing the projects financially, the IGOTC will also help connect the grant recipients with outdoor organisations that can offer additional support through the provision of specialist kit and expertise.

Launched in 2017 by the IGOTC, the #itsgreatoutthere grants programme supports community-based projects, which take new participants into the outdoors, with a particular focus on younger and more diverse audiences. Any non-profit organisation can apply for a grant. Since they were introduced, they have supported 19 projects, directly benefiting nearly 5,500 people.

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 support a greater number of smaller projects that would otherwise struggle to get underway.

Applications for the micro-grants were invited over the summer and the coalition received some strong submissions. After reviewing the proposals, ten projects were awarded grants – in Germany, Spain, Sweden, France, Serbia and the UK. The initiatives will allow young people from many different backgrounds and some very challenging circumstances to experience outdoor activities for the first time.

Margo de Lange, policy officer at the It’s Great Out There Coalition, said, “In July, we teamed up with the European Outdoor Group to launch an urgent call for projects to help get Europe active in the outdoors again after lockdown. This was on the back of our research that clearly showed that citizens had gained a greater appreciation of the outdoors and an increased desire to explore the natural world once restrictions lifted.

“By adapting our grants programme, we were able to offer support to more projects that would otherwise struggle to go ahead in the current circumstances. The response has been brilliant. We received some amazing proposals from all over Europe and the micro-grants that we have awarded are going to have a profoundly positive impact for those mainly young people who will benefit, many of whom will be experiencing the hills and mountains for the first time.”

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