Local initiatives in six different countries that mainly involve young people, will each receive €1,000, to help them get new participants active in the outdoors, experiencing activities that include climbing, camping, trekking, adventure racing, orienteering, canyoning, skiing and snowboarding. As well as backing the projects financially, the It’s Great Out There Coalition 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 It’s Great Out There Coalition, 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 an #itsgreatoutthere grant and 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, 10 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. Full details of the successful projects can be found at www.itsgreatoutthere.com/grants/list-of-grants
Margo de Lange, policy officer at the It’s Great Out There Coalition, comments: “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.”
Following the award of the #itsgreatoutthere grants, the It’s Great Out There Coalition is now helping the successful projects to make connections with organisations and individuals in the outdoor industry who may be able to offer additional assistance, through funding or support in kind, such as the provision of kit or expertise. Many coalition members have provided help for grant recipients since the programme was launched in 2017, and have continued to work with the coalition to find suitable projects that meet the overarching objective of the #itsgreatoutthere campaign, to get Europe more active outdoors.
For more information about the #itsgreatoutthere grants programme, visit www.itsgreatoutthere.com/grants.