The past two years of lockdown have made clear how spending time outdoors, and enjoying the freedom of wild places, is so important for our mental and physical well being. But for many people from Britain’s ethnically diverse communities, accessing and spending time in nature just isn’t as easy and welcoming as it should be.
That’s why a collective of leading outdoor brands and organisations came together and asked Hatch to help them launch the Opening Up the Outdoors (OUTO) Changemaker Programme. It’s a pilot project designed to support changemakers from ethnically diverse backgrounds whose businesses, initiatives and groups are working to build a more diverse, equitable and anti-racist outdoor community.
Founder of Earth Sea Love, Hatch graduate
The barriers to accessing the outdoors are varied, but often include hostility and discrimination. People from ethnically diverse communities sometimes say they are made to feel like they don’t belong in the outdoors, and they don’t have the confidence or networks to try something new. Financial resources also play a role – as does geography – it’s harder to access the outdoors if you don’t live close to any open spaces.
Less than three in ten Black people…
…and less than three in ten Asian people in the UK spend time in the countryside…
…compared with more than four in ten White people.
Ten changemakers from across the UK will receive bespoke tailored support from Hatch, including access to expert-led masterclasses, peer mentoring, business coaching and skilled consulting, as well as joining a cohort of other entrepreneurs and leaders from diverse sectors.
Hatch’s programmes are co-designed with the changemakers on the cohort, meaning each one is tailored to allow them to tackle their most pressing challenges, from cash flow to marketing, branding to building networks. They’ll learn how to grow sustainably, increase their impact, and support people from ethnically diverse communities to access the outdoors. After the programme, they’ll be able to apply for development grants of up to £10k to invest directly into their organisation.
Longer term, the intention is to expand this project to be able to support even more changemakers to the programme. The OUTO group is working towards getting even more outdoor brands and established outdoor organisations to join its mission, so that it can reach more communities and make a bigger impact across the country.
Opening Up the Outdoors is made up of outdoor industry and community experts from the UK and Europe, including Adidas Terrex, Arc’teryx, Berghaus, Finisterre, Patagonia, The North Face and Vivobarefoot.
The group came together in Spring 2021, in response to the systemic racism that led to the murder of George Floyd, the increase of anti-Asian sentiment and violence, and in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Its aim? To address the state of the outdoor industry and community in relation to justice, equity and anti-racism; and to explore ways the group could work together to ensure a more inclusive outdoor environment for all.
We’re working to to create an outdoor community and industry in the UK that is truly diverse, equitable, and anti-racist, where everyone, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual identity, or physical ability is welcomed and included, and can participate and express themselves freely and safely.
Chair of the OUTO group
If you’re a changemaker from an ethnically diverse background who is starting or growing a community group, social enterprise or business in the UK that promotes a diverse, equal and anti-racist outdoor community, we’d love to hear from you.
Hatch’s support programmes are for changemakers and founders based in the UK. Every programme we run has different application criteria that allows us to best tailor our support. For this Opening Up the Outdoors Changemaker Programme, we welcome applications from changemakers who are from ethnically diverse backgrounds who in turn are actively working to build a more diverse, equitable, and anti-racist outdoor community.
The Launchpad is suitable for you if you:
The Incubator is suitable for you if you:
You can express your interest in either the launchpad or incubator using the application form. Try to answer the questions in as much detail as possible, as we don’t ask applicants to submit a business plan or model.
This programme will focus on changemakers from ethnically diverse backgrounds, who are working in the UK, as we seek to fund people actively working to build a more diverse, equitable, and anti-racist outdoor community. We recognise there’s other work needed right now that might not fit our pilot criteria. Our aim is to build on this pilot programme to increase in scope, and ensure that everyone, regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual identity or physical ability is welcomed and included in the outdoors. We also hope to expand to include changemakers across Europe. More exciting news to follow.
If you are not eligible for this programme we have other opportunities which you may be eligible for: Our Programmes