ROKT Foundation, a climbing and urban adventure charity in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, has secured National Lottery funding to run a pilot project to help teenagers struggling with their mental health through the sport. They will all work through NICAS level 1 (our "new climber" syllabus) as part of this initiative.

As reported in the Halifax Courier, Katie Kinsella, ROKT Foundation’s Director for Community & Business Engagement, said of the project: “This is superb news and has the potential to be life-changing for these young people thanks to this Lottery funding and our partners at Invictus Wellbeing Foundation.

“Designed to explore ‘positive fear’, it focuses on encouraging peer support and will provide the opportunity for future development in climbing, so it won’t stop when the course does. We want to use this opportunity to pilot more holistic approaches to mental health and create a step change in how we work with partner and statutory agencies. ROKT Foundation’s mission is to engage, inspire and empower our participants and this project will do just that.”

The bespoke development programme of climbing activities includes several taster sessions featuring bouldering and rope climbing along with a six-week National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS) level 1 programme, providing a platform for individuals to gain further qualifications in a sport which will debut in the Olympics later this year.

Danny Hutchinson of Invictus Wellbeing Foundation is quoted as follows: “This project provides an incredible opportunity to really affect positive change in the young people’s lives that have been referred to our Foundation through positive activity such as climbing. It’s not something they would normally have access to or think of, but the benefits of climbing physically and mentally are clear and we can’t wait to get on the walls and started.”

Thanks to ROKT Foundation for allowing us to publicise the article.

NICAS syllabus details can be found here.

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