12 November 2019, General

On Sunday 10th November, the Hampshire Youth Project joined the Hampshire 20 & 30’s Walking Group, a social group who meet regularly, supported by the Ramblers charity.

Six brave and determined young people set off with the rest of the 21 persons-strong ramblers group on a six mile hike through the Hamble River Valley, led by experienced rambler, Peter Cresswell. The walk took our young people through open fields, woodland, along the river bank and involved crossing the river on a short ferry journey.

The idea for this activity was partly spurred on by our charity having more involvement with outdoor pursuits organised by the South Downs National Park Authority. James Donougher, one of our Project Leaders, recently travelled to Midhurst to meet professionals from the organisation. He had great pleasure in meeting Kate Drake, the park’s newly recruited Health and Wellbeing Officer.

Kate says “The South Downs National Park has a wonderful landscape and cultural heritage that provides inspiration for getting fit and healthy. Evidence shows that moderate exercise is good for us both physically and mentally.  Being active and outdoors can bring substantial mental health benefits by reducing stress and raising your mood.  Sharing this experience with others also improves social networking and connectedness.  With all these benefits, why would you not want to access the National Park and enable more people to do so too?”

James is committed to improving the young people’s state of mind to become successful and independent individuals, despite the various challenges they may face in their lives. He says “Our charity will continue to work with more organisations similar to the Ramblers and the South Downs National Park Authority to further develop our programme of work experience, volunteering and leisurely outdoor activities to ultimately improve the mental health and wellbeing of the young people we work with.”

May we take this opportunity to congratulate the six young people who successfully completed the six mile hike on Sunday, you are all superstars!

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