We need your help.
Blackdog Outdoors is a fully-registered charity providing completely free outdoor activities and adventures for anyone affected by mental health issues. We provide professionally-led, fully-insured events in the outdoors for people who might otherwise find it difficult to get involved because of common issues like anxiety, depression or CPTSD. Those of us already involved in the outdoors understand its importance and for lots of us it is already a way of life, but there are many of us out there who cannot get past those initial barriers, those nerves, the motivation to organise, to find the kit, to access the necessary knowledge or skills. Blackdog Outdoors is dedicated to getting people past those barriers.
Our attendees can sign up for free to join us for group walks, hiking days, rock climbing, abseiling, bouldering, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding and more. There’s no catch and no profit, just a lovely time spent outdoors in Nature. We hope that your experiences with us will inspire you and instill the confidence and knowledge required to reconnect with the outdoors in whichever way works best for you. Sometimes all any of us need is a little helping hand past those initial barriers. BDO aim to make getting outdoors as simple as possible with professionally-led, fully-insured events, attended by MHFA-trained staff and with all equipment provided.
We truly believe that the natural environment and the outdoor community – with its exceptional camaraderie – are incredible tools that we can all use in these difficult times. The mental health crisis in the UK is getting worse and many of us are finding that we need a little helping hand to make positive changes. Without support, those of us who are the most isolated – and often the most in need – might not manage to get outdoors and access these benefits. That’s why we provide completely free, non-profit events, supported by like-minded people and professional staff. A little confidence, some specialist knowledge and supported access to these experiences is already making a significant difference to people’s lives and we want to be able to continue helping as many as possible. Many of our attendees overcome their initial hurdles with us and go on to enjoy their chosen outdoor passion armed with a new-found sense of confidence in their abilities. Many have been motivated to encourage friends and family to join them and several have progressed to professional courses and training.
One of our champions, Samantha Rutt recently set-off paddleboarding around the UK coastline to raise funds for our mission, to tackle the stigma of mental health and to raise awareness of surrounding issues. Samantha has a keen focus on Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and she’s been starting conversations and discussions up and down the country around the topic of mental health and the benefits of the outdoors.
“I’ve been really humbled by the people who have reached out to me since I started talking about Complex-PTSD and mental heath in general, hearing so many stories of people with their own battles raging on…the day to day struggles of life on lockdown and how we were forced to stop” – Samantha Rutt.
Like the rest of us here at Blackdog, Samantha understands the importance of getting outdoors for her mental wellbeing and what an effective tool it can be in helping all of us to tackle our struggles. Those of us already involved in the outdoors understand its benefits and, no matter what our chosen discipline, it’s become integral to our wellbeing. For many of us, time outdoors is an absolute necessity. Its importance is profound and the scientific community is making great headway in understanding why, with evidence emerging that time in nature positively impacts our wellbeing and mental health.
As a result of her efforts and of the work being done here at BDO, Samantha has been nominated for the The Great Outdoors Awards. These awards are your opportunity to recognise the efforts of all those people, places and organisations that help to get us out into the hills.
If you’re already active in the outdoors and understand the benefits, please consider voting for us.
If you can remember what it was like when you first began and know the importance of having supportive folk around to inspire and help you with kit and info, please vote for us.
You can vote for Samantha and BDO here: https://www.tgomagazine.co.uk/awards/