Our prime goal is to support people on low incomes and living in poverty to be able to access the benefits of the outdoors and lead good outdoor lives. By removing barriers for communities with fewer resources we naturally make ourselves more inclusive to many others. This is a vital lesson we share with other organisations-by removing barriers for one marginalised group you often remove barriers for others too. Inclusion outdoors is intersectional, one set of barriers always intersects with and often exacerbates other issues around race, gender, disability and sexuality. We focus on poverty as it has a shamefully low profile in the outdoor sector. It is hard to rally groups of people on low incomes to feel proud of belonging to that group and so getting support from media and brands is hard, especially when there are few outdoor role models with lived experience of poverty. Poverty and low income are not protected characteristics and discrimination on grounds of poverty or financial means is not legally recognised. We know that too many adults, children and families are discriminated against daily for their social and economic status. The outdoor world is dominated by land ownership, immense wealth, cultural capital and many signifiers of privilege and so it can be impossible for anyone on a low income to understand how to access any part of a good outdoor life. To this mix we can add the problem that low income people, when they are outdoors are perceived as either shirking or anti social. Besides the obvious financial barriers the most significant block is often the stigma. We have noted there is an Outdoor Poverty Paradox where the benefits of being outdoors could improve the researched impacts of living in poverty, apart from there are too many social and economic barriers to begin.
We know that issues of poverty impact children and young people hardest. We support our young people to be heard, be valued and speak out. Our youth leaders are central to all of our work outdoors.