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Bradford
Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Organisation that helps people connect with nature to get new home in park building

A Grade II listed Keighley building will be the new headquarters of an organisation set up to get people more active.

Get Out More is a social enterprise that runs outdoor programmes such as forest schools and wellbeing programmes in the North of England.

The organisation was recently given the keys to the Grade II listed Gatehouse at Cliffe Castle in Keighley – and the building will be its new office and community space.

Get Out More was also awarded £300,698 in Lottery funded cash to set up a new ‘Keighley Green Community Hub’ that will support local people to learn new skills and combat loneliness.

Earlier this month, the team picked up keys for the Gatehouse, and they say the building will enable them to “start a new chapter in the organisation’s growth.”

Annie Berrington, the founder of Get Out More and its Managing Director, said:“Our new premises are in such a stunning parkland location that really changes with the seasons – it makes so much sense for our business and creative growth. It reallyfeels like we are coming home and we are now ready to write the next chapter of our story.

“And it is so exciting to be working with Bradford Council, Cliffe Castle and the Cliffe Castle Support group in new nature-focused ways over the coming years.

“This office move, the new facilities it offers and big funding win means we are ideally placed to take major steps forward in ensuring our activities are truly targeted at those most risk of poor mental and physical health including people affected by disadvantage, social isolation and disability.”

The organisation is a Community Interest Company, which means a business with social and environmental aims that reinvests any profits back into the communities in which they work.

The organisation currently uses any profits to offer free sessions in disadvantaged areas in West Yorkshire and supports local woodland  conservation projects through volunteering and donations.

It has also beenawarded £300,698 as part of a three-year funding programme from the Reaching Communities Fund.

The fund will support a new Keighley Green Community Hub that will support local people to “learn new skills, combat loneliness and feel more connected to their community.”

Mrs Berrington added: “We know from our previous projects that our work is not just about nature: getting outside into nature increases employability, gives people access to green spaces and improves mental health which develops resilience.

“We want to use nature and outdoor skills to make people feel proud of where they live – this is one of the best ways to improve aspirations for themselves and their community.”

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Portfolio Holder for Healthy People and Places at Bradford Council, said: “We are delighted that Get Out More can continue their amazing work here in Keighley, Bradford and around the North. Their exciting outdoors work here will mean green spaces are more widely used and valued by our local communities in the long term.

“This new funding is testament to their great skill, fantastic expertise in nature, and professionalism in delivery.”

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