Let Us Out heads to Westminster
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Let Us Out heads to Westminster

On 5 December, the Let Us Out campaign machine rolled into Westminster.

Campaigning doesn’t come naturally to us at Outward Bound, but when presented with the opportunity to back the Outdoor Education Bills in Scotland, England and Wales, we found it hard to stay quiet.

That’s why we brought together friends, supporters, like-minded organisations, and (you could say) competitors from the outdoor education sector. To agree on one very simple idea: That every young person in Great Britain should have access to an outdoor residential as part of their schooling.

A far cry from the mountains, this was unnatural territory for us, but a moment where we’re proud to say: “We did it”. Much like a young person who’s spent their first night away from home, their comfort zone and the stresses and routine of everyday life. It's important to push yourself.

What happened?

We hosted our Parliamentary Reception on a rainy Tuesday afternoon in Westminster Palace, thanks to Tim Farron MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, who hosted. It took place over 2 hours and we welcomed over 60 guests, including politicians from across the political spectrum.

We heard some amazing stories from guest speakers, including:

  • Tim Farron, on why the Outdoor Education Bills are so important and the need for them in the context of a growing mental health crisis amongst young people.
  • Freya Gray, a former Outward Bound participant, who spoke about her homelife as a carer and how Outward Bound helped her overcome challenges.
  • Leo Houlding, a professional explorer, on how risk and reward can play a profound part in family adventures and parenting
  • Emma Bonnin, a Head Teacher at Pakeman Primary, on what her pupils gain from learning through adventure outside the classroom
Why was this important?

This moment brought together movers and shakers from across the outdoor education sector including Outward Bound, YHA, Scouts, PGL, Field Studies Council, Bendrigg and many more to make our voice heard.

The principle of outdoor education for all is something we can all agree on.

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