The current situation has had a devastating impact on our climbing programmes, with all sessions on hold since the lockdown began, but we are adjusting as best we can to try to support the young people who have been affected. The first step has been the launch of “Talks to Elevate and Inspire”, which is a series of weekly online talks for young people connected to Urban Uprising, the staff from organisations that work with us and our volunteers - to tune in and get a bit of a boost during this difficult time in all our lives.
Our first speaker was incredible Scottish mountaineer Jamie Andrew. A tragic accident resulted in him losing all his hands and feet, but despite his disabilities, he has made some amazing mountaineering ascents all over the world. Amongst many other remarkable achievements, he has also raised thousands of pounds for charity along the way. Says Jamie, “It’s my hope that my experiences and achievements may in some way inspire others to tackle the obstacles they face in life and to achieve their full potential. It seems to me that our greatest limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves. I want to encourage others to throw out these misconceptions and to be all they can be.” We have a number of speakers lined up for the coming weeks, including one of our volunteers who will be talking about her extraordinary life of ups and downs and tackles drug addiction, depression, and suicide - themes that are often hard to talk about. We also have Urban Uprising Ambassadors and pro-climbers Hazel Findlay, who specialises in helping people overcome fears and limitations, and Robbie Phillips, who uses his adventures in life and climbing as a means of inspiring others. If you have an inspiring story to tell, or know someone that does, we would love to hear from you. These are invite-only private talks in order to provide a safe space for potentially vulnerable young people to listen and interact. Speakers and themes have been chosen to align with the values of Urban Uprising - resilience, determination, mental and physical health, and, of course, climbing. Equally, if you are a teacher or youth leader and think your group would benefit, please get in touch to find out more.