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Venture Outdoors - Creating Healthy Communities

Outdoor Recreation NI recently secured funding from the Big Lottery Fund (£469,999) and Ulster Garden Villages (£30,000) to deliver a 3 year programme that will address the barriers currently discouraging those from the disabled, ethnic minority and high social need communities in taking part in outdoor recreation. Outdoor Recreation NI wants to ensure that these underrepresented communities are afforded equal opportunities to enjoy the outdoors and the many advantages that this brings, particularly in terms of physical and mental health.

Project PartnersBig Lottery Fund and Ulster Gardens
Project FundersBig Lottery Fund (£469,999) and Ulster Garden Villages (£30,000)
Cost£500,000
Other InformationThe successful funding bid is the culmination of 2 years work by Outdoor Recreation NI which included undertaking a significant research study, ‘Barriers to Participation’, the results of which were published in 2008.
The 3 year programme is based on 4 key areas of work and will be delivered by 2 new Officers (Development and Marketing).

These are:
1. Building ‘bridges’ between the underrepresented communities and existing outdoor recreation providers so needs are being communicated and embraced
2. Training countryside recreation providers in the skills required to work and provide for these communities
3. Providing accurate, available and appropriate information for these communities to allow informed choices to be made
4. Hand-holding the most vulnerable communities initially through led activity programmes and then training members of these communities to obtain the necessary qualifications in walking and cycling, needed to sustain the programme in the future.
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