Supporting Lindley Educational Trust

By Col Stocker

The Lindley Educational Trust works to improve knowledge, inspire and build confidence and has helped so many from disadvantaged backgrounds move positively forwards in their lives, whilst also instilling a lifelong love of the outdoors. It’s been doing this for decades, for over 55 years in fact. Truly inspiring.

At the Alpkit Foundation we are really excited to be continuing our support with Lindley and this year we have provided a dedicated fund that they can use to help provide targeted support and grants to groups and individuals that would ordinarily be hard to engage with.

Everyone at Lindley is passionate about getting children and young people outdoors, where at every opportunity they celebrate the fantastic adventures that children and young people undertake and provide opportunities for all the youth club members to enjoy outdoor activities regularly. The first exposure to the outdoors is always carefully planned and managed, so they have an enjoyable and impactful experience, which leaves them hungry for their next adventure.

A big shift came about 15 years ago, when Lindley wanted to understand how best to help children and young people from highly disadvantaged urban backgrounds.

“Hollowford is a modern purpose built outdoor centre at Castleton in the Peak District and each year we have around 12,000 children and young people visit the centre. However, we realised that the most disadvantaged need regular long term interventions and this led to us setting up our inner city youth projects” Mark Williams – Head of Centres

Working with community groups in Ashton, Manchester and Pitsmoor, Sheffield. It brings the outdoors to new generations that would never think of the Peak District as a place for them. Edale is only 20 miles from Manchester and Sheffield, and for some it may as well be the moon.

Rehna Yaseen attended the youth project herself and got hooked. She started volunteering and is now the Project Lead at Ashton Youth Club. These few words from her illustrate how deeply Lindley changes people’s lives:

“Without Lindley I wouldn’t be where I am today. All the opportunities and experiences have helped shape the woman I am. I will forever be grateful to Lindley and I look forward to many years ahead."

There is something special and unique about a traditional outdoor centre and urban youth clubs being all part of the same organisation.

  • Local people develop a real passion for the outdoors and notably one of Lindley’s great successes has been engaging outdoor leaders from BAME communities (there is a hub of qualified mountain leaders and climbing instructors in Ashton and aspiring outdoor leaders in Pitsmoor)
  • Lindley successfully engages those children and young people from the most difficult to reach backgrounds. The magic has been the combination of engaging local staff, doing some really challenging outdoor stuff such as winter mountaineering weeks with young people from BAME backgrounds.

Lindley was one of the first recipients of a Foundation grant in 2015 and we've also supported its Winter Mountaineering Course, which is much more than a week in the Cairngorms.

Rehna explained the impact it can have.

“It’s become a rite of passage for many young people from our community. We really do break down some barriers. We get people from conservative Asian backgrounds and it’s always popular with young women. Traditionally, these young women don’t get the chance to explore such opportunities, as they are expected to use their time to learn life skills such as cooking and looking after their families.

The project is fantastic, over a 12 month period they have to raise around £6,000, learn mountaineering skills, work as a close-knit team and plan their expedition. It’s a life changing experience and is the first time they get to take on such responsibility and commitment.”

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