Behind the scenes: equity

Posted by James McHaffie on 03/10/2019

Continuing our series of articles about the work of volunteer-led BMC specialist committees, we highlight the work of the Equity Steering Group (ESG) which was formed in 2006 and helps to guide the BMC on matters of equity as well as looking at ways to reduce barriers to climbing, walking and the outdoors for under-represented groups.

The group is chaired by Cressida Allwood, supported by youth & equity officer James McHaffie as secretary, and comprises volunteers from under-represented backgrounds, as well as professionals who work in areas of equality, diversity and inclusivity. Structurally, the ESG has four sub-groups covering: disability; mental health; black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups; and women’s development; it will soon have a fifth sub-group for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) matters.

Events and courses

Since its formation, the ESG has been involved with lots of projects such as disability symposiums supporting practitioners working with people with disabilities and equity symposiums aimed at creating more outdoor leaders from BAME backgrounds, as well as delivering disability awareness in rock climbing courses and helping to develop the Paraclimbing Series of climbing competitions. In March this year, we organised a fundraising event to support some UK-based charities that work through the medium of climbing and the outdoors.

Participants in the Climbing for All fundraising event.

On a practical front the ESG has been helping to deliver numerous other events. The annual Adventure for All conference held in December 2018 at the Conwy Centre on Anglesey was supported by the BMC, as will the December 2019 conference, which will be held in December at the Hindleap Warren Outdoor Centre in the Ashdown Forest.

Black Dog Outdoors director Andrew Higson sits on the ESG and has put a large amount of energy into running guided walks with Mountain Leaders who have a mental health first aid qualification. These walks are run as BMC events and have taken place in the Peak District, Lake District and North Wales, with walks in the Yorkshire Dales and Scotland planned for later this year; and last month, in partnership with the BMC, Climb Alongside Mental Health and DMM Black Dog Outdoors ran a climbing day in the Peak District.


Black Dog Outdoors walk poster.

The ESG and the BMC were also able to support this year’s Women’s Trad Festival by making it a BMC event, and thereby providing insurance cover, and also having some involvement in the safety aspects of the weekend. This annual event started in 2016, aimed largely at beginners and learners, many of whom can already climb but want to learn trad skills in a safe, friendly environment. The 2019 event, held in August in the Peak District was attended by over 300 people.


Women's Trad Festival. Photo: Jessie Leong.

Later this month, on the weekend of 26-27 October, the BMC will be holding an equity symposium to celebrate and support ethnic minority adventure in the great outdoors and help to develop outdoor leaders from a BAME background. The event will be run at the Hollowford Centre in the Peak District in partnership with Mountain Training and the Lindley Educational Trust. The BMC is also working with Mountain Training to offer bursaries and support for outdoor leaders from a BAME background.

Publications and films

The group works with other organisations to publish handbooks on Climbing for All  and Walking for All, which look at making climbing and walking more accessible for people who have a range of disabilities.

The BMC is also supporting the Bendrigg Trust, a residential outdoor education centre working specifically with disabled and disadvantaged people, to create an inspirational climbing film which will increase awareness of the challenges that people with ‘hidden’ disabilities face within society whilst also inspiring more people with disabilities to go climbing.


Bendrigg Trust climbing wall.

Raising standards, reducing inequalities

In the last 12 months the ESG has been going through the process of upgrading the BMCs Equality Standard for Sport from Preliminary to Intermediate level. The Equality Standard for Sport is a framework for assisting sports organisations to widen access and reduce inequalities in sport and physical activities from under-represented individuals, groups and communities. This has meant taking a look at what the BMC has been doing already and what it could be doing better, both within the BMC and in the opportunities it provides to its members and the public. The majority of this work has been completed (although it still needs to be assessed by an Equality Assessor) which has enabled us to update our Equality Plan, as well as our Diversity Action Plan for the Board of Directors, with BMC President Lynn Robinson becoming the equality champion on the Board and Nominated Director Jonny Dry acting as the Board’s representative on the ESG. These developments will help to ensure good communications between BMC staff and the Board of Directors on matters of equity and how the BMC can continue to develop opportunities into the future. 

The BMC is in a great position to help create inclusive events and projects, having a vast array of really good people with experience, knowledge and time they are willing to offer. We’d like to thank all the volunteers who have supported and continue to support the work of the Equity Steering Group.

 


The nominations process for the 2020 BMC Volunteers Awards is now open. 

Nominate a volunteer for an award

 

Find out more about the work that goes on behind the scenes with the BMC specialist committees:

Behind the scenes: access and conservation

Behind the scenes: clubs

Behind the scenes: equity

Behind the scenes: guidebooks

Behind the scenes: huts

Behind the scenes: international mountaineering

Behind the scenes: land management

Behind the scenes: technical equipment

Behind the scenes: training, youth and walls

Find out more about: BMC specialist committees

Keen to get involved with our work? Find out how you can volunteer with the BMC here

 

BMC Volunteer survey

We're keen to understand more about BMC volunteers and have put together a survey for all current volunteers, previous volunteers and those who might want to volunteer in future.

Read more and complete the survey here


« Back

Post a comment Print this article

This article has been read 2669 times

TAGS

Click on the tags to explore more

RELATED ARTICLES

Climbability: increasing inclusivity in climbing
0
Climbability: increasing inclusivity in climbing

The BMC and Adventure for All are running a pilot at Rock Over Climbing Centre looking to increase inclusivity in climbing activities. The aim of the pilot is to help to develop a package that will increase the confidence of both climbing walls and staff to run climbing sessions for people with a range of disabilities.
Read more »

Behind the scenes: clubs
0
Behind the scenes: clubs

Continuing our series of articles about the work of volunteer-led BMC specialist committees, we highlight the work of Clubs’ Committee, which provides training and direct support to clubs. It facilitates communication and consultation by the BMC with affiliated clubs on all matters relating to clubs.
Read more »

Behind the scenes: equipment
1
Behind the scenes: equipment

Continuing our series of articles about the work of volunteer-led BMC specialist committees, we highlight the work of the Technical Committee, which works with manufacturers and other partners to provide unbiased advice on safety equipment for climbing and mountaineering.
Read more »

Post a Comment

Posting as Anonymous Community Standards
3000 characters remaining
Submit
Your comment has been posted below, click here to view it
Comments are currently on | Turn off comments
0

There are currently no comments, why not add your own?

RELATED ARTICLES

Climbability: increasing inclusivity in climbing
0

The BMC and Adventure for All are running a pilot at Rock Over Climbing Centre looking to increase inclusivity in climbing activities. The aim of the pilot is to help to develop a package that will increase the confidence of both climbing walls and staff to run climbing sessions for people with a range of disabilities.
Read more »

Behind the scenes: clubs
0

Continuing our series of articles about the work of volunteer-led BMC specialist committees, we highlight the work of Clubs’ Committee, which provides training and direct support to clubs. It facilitates communication and consultation by the BMC with affiliated clubs on all matters relating to clubs.
Read more »

Behind the scenes: equipment
1

Continuing our series of articles about the work of volunteer-led BMC specialist committees, we highlight the work of the Technical Committee, which works with manufacturers and other partners to provide unbiased advice on safety equipment for climbing and mountaineering.
Read more »

BMC MEMBERSHIP
Join 82,000 BMC members and support British climbing, walking and mountaineering. Membership only £16.97.
Read more »
BMC SHOP
Great range of guidebooks, DVDs, books, calendars and maps.
All with discounts for members.
Read more »
TRAVEL INSURANCE
Get covered with BMC Insurance. Our five policies take you from the beach to Everest.
Read more »