Lancaster adventure company gets £10k boost to help people enjoy the great outdoors
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BEE Adventures, a not-for-profit company run by mountain leaders James Melia and Ryan Bond, has been funded by the National Lottery, Lancaster Community Fund and the Eric Wright Trust to help people from rehabilitation centres and across the local community to enjoy the great outdoors.
“We’ve found that when people are out walking, they feel more comfortable in talking about their problems, ” said James who has a first aid mental health qualification.
“We like to keep our walks challenging without being overwhelming.”
One of the people on the most recent walk had been through a really bad week so was glad of the escape and different setting which it provided.
BEE Adventures have already used some of the £9,625 lottery funding to take a group from The Well, a drug and alcohol addiction support company, on a hike up Catbells in the Lake District and plan to use the rest of the lottery grant to run similar walks every month.
People from The Well also took part in a walk up Loughrigg Fell in the Lakes supported by some of the £1,000 grant from Lancaster Community Fund which will also help to pay for a walk open to anyone in the community on April 2.
A wellbeing day for people from The Well and from the community took place at Tarn Hows last year, thanks to a £1,000 grant from the Eric Wright Trust which also paid for 10 warm and waterproof coats for those without suitable outdoor clothing.
James and Ryan, both 30 and originally from Manchester, set up BEE Adventures in 2019 after working for other companies as mountain leaders. Both are passionate about the great outdoors and how it can improve people’s mental health and social skills, so they came up with the idea of providing a range of outdoor adventures for adults and outdoor activities for children.
From their Halton Mill base, they aim to provide affordable, accessible mountain walks with transport mainly to the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, the Peak District and Snowdonia, and hope to expand their company in future, potentially taking on more mountain leaders.