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Is Urban Uprising for you?

Who we are:

At Urban Uprising, our goal is to use our unique programme to give 8-18-year-

olds, who face various challenges in life, the chance to develop their physical, social and personal strengths through rock climbing.

With the support and encouragement of highly trained, positive coaches we help young people to achieve these three main outcomes:

  • Increased confidence to try new things

  • Increased resilience to deal with failure

  • Increased participation in physical activity

Why climbing?

Rock climbing can be daunting and breaking through that barrier to try it for the first time, or to try new or harder climbs, is a real confidence builder. The nature of climbing is that you are failing much more than you are succeeding and the experience of not being able to get past a certain point - or falling off the wall entirely - is an important part of it. Building resilience to deal with this failure and understanding that failing is a learning opportunity (and nothing to be afraid of) is very empowering for the young people. Through our sessions, young people can discover a sense of belonging to a new and different community with many positive role models.

We know there are barriers – both individual and societal – that prevent some young people from accessing and consistently engaging with new experiences. Urban Uprising’s vision is a society where all young people feel engaged and empowered to create a positive future for themselves.

How it works:

We partner with organisations who work with young people facing challenges, including schools and youth groups. In the past we’ve partnered with organisations supporting young carers, young people dealing with bereavement, young people living in poverty as well as many other groups.

We plan a block of ten weekly sessions at a climbing wall. These sessions last around an hour and a half and are run by qualified coaches and supported by Urban Uprising volunteers who provide a consistent and supportive presence.

The focus of these sessions is on personal development, as well as climbing, and our volunteers make observations to help us monitor and evaluate our success.

In partnership with climbing centres and committed volunteer role models, we are here to support young people to address and overcome challenges and become their own agents of change.

How it’s funded:

Urban Uprising funds the majority of the programme and the partner organisation usually makes a contribution. This contribution depends on the funds available from Urban Uprising and the partner organisation at the time.

What our partners have to say:

‘It was amazing seeing the difference in the kids over the course of the programme.

Their initial anxieties decreased dramatically - they learnt how to keep safe whilst

also taking planned risks. They developed a strong sense of achievement, which significantly improved self-esteem and confidence. [One child] had really low self-worth and often spoke about being ‘rubbish’ at everything. By the end of the project he proudly told me how good he was at climbing and this was a really magical moment.’

- Mel, Youth Development Worker, Edinburgh Young Carers

‘We saw the confidence grow in all the young people that attended, it has been especially

hard for them post pandemic and there has been a noticeable difference in their behaviour

and confidence at school too.’

- Joy, Support Worker, SPACE Project

‘Many of the young people that took part in the climbing do not do regular physical

activity. They are often put off by team sports and sit out of PE so it was great to see

the young people engage and enjoy moving. The range of games and activities

helped the young people to see that taking part in exercise can be really fun and

there are so many alternatives to what they think physical activity is.’

- Kayleigh, Teacher, Beeslack High School

How to get involved:

If you’d like to know more about forming a partnership with Urban Uprising, we’d love to hear from you. For an initial discussion, please contact us at

You can read more about becoming a partner with us here

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