Who is AA Outreach program for?

The program is an inclusive programme for the children and young people living in Ayrshire, doubly disadvantaged through disability and deprivation.  And those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to take part in climbing, perhaps due to disability, poverty or personal circumstances.

The perfect way to motivate, inspire and empower young people to take control of their own destiny and reach higher.

We understand that for some groups and organisations, the programme will simply not be within their budget.  We therefore offer limited funded spaces for groups.  If you would like to apply for funded sessions then please get in touch for our application form.

What to expect on the program

• The sessions are 90 minutes once a week for 4 or 6 weeks

• An introduction to climbing.

• Learning new skills through communication, exercise, interaction and having fun.

What will I need to wear and bring?

Gym style clothing.

Get in touch today to discuss our Outreach Program or read on to discover the benefits of climbing

How climbing helps

Young people feel more confident, less lonely, less different, happier and fitter; want to try new things, things which they hadn’t even considered doing before. The following all improves:

Physical strength, flexibility, agility and stamina – invaluable for all of life’s challenges. A great deal of intense focus and concentration is required, valuable skills for school & beyond. Hand-eye coordination: Climbing uses all four limbs in a coordinated fashion, great to develop fine motor skills.

Problem-solving skills: Climbing a wall is just like solving a problem, it strengthens mental and physical skills.

Enjoyment of & respect for nature: benefits multiply when climbing outdoors – satisfaction of transferring skills to real rock faces with the wind blowing and very often rain whipping hair & clothing, breathless with raw exhilaration, achievement & belonging as they do it together. Spending time outdoors is scientifically proven to reduce stress and connecting physically with nature helps develop a healthy respect for it.

Body confidence: Physically & mentally climbing is challenging. The physical skills it fosters helps young people feel more confident in their bodies, especially important to teenagers & those who are physically different from their peers.

Self-esteem: Climbers learn to think and act with confidence, make quick decisions about the best route to take, and rely on their own physical strength and mental abilities.

• Learning in a safe environment helps overcome fears & encourages calculated risk taking.

• Climbers learn to work as part of a team (with climbing partner) and to trust as others help them
navigate an obstacle and banter as they belay, as important as other benefits.

• When climbing, young people learn they can achieve difficult goals. And because not every climb will be successful, they also learn from their mistakes, and figure out how to succeed the next time.

• Disabled young people scaling the heights will change perceptions of the limitations of disability and other circumstances

Disability is no barrier to climbing,

Categories in addition to limb impairments:

• Sensory impairments
• Learning disabilities
• Emotional & behavioral difficulties (EBD)
• Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
• Autistic spectrum condition (ASC)
• Mental health support needs

Climbing “therapy disguised as play & adapts to the climber e.g. those living with cerebral palsy, paraplegics, amputees etc. can all use an adaptive device attached to a rope to help with the pull-ups.

Blind climbers rely on the touch of the wall and strong communication skills. For many with mental health problems e.g. dyspraxia, autism, ADHD, depression etc. climbing can improve wellbeing by bringing about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge.

Information from NHS.UK Particular benefits for young people with Dyspraxia & Mental Health issues: