This is an archived press release
Monday 11 October 2010
11 October 2010
Peak Wise People gain national recognition
A Peak District-based project to give more people from ethnic minorities the confidence to explore the countryside has gained national recognition.
The Peak District National Park’s learning team developed “Peak Wise People,” a course for ethnic minority champions to gain skills in leading outdoor activities such as guided walks and visits to attractions.
Nine voluntary champions completed the pilot course at Losehill Hall, the national park's environmental learning centre, leading outdoor activities for 158 black and ethnic minority adults from cities such as Sheffield, Manchester and Derby surrounding the national park.
Many had never spent time in the countryside before, and one participant said: “I used to look at people walking in the countryside and think that’s not for me. Now I know it is!” Another said: “It makes you feel good to be alive.”
In addition the champions learnt about local history, farming and wildlife to help their groups understand the area, and they have all continued to organise events and activities, often in response to demand.
Now “Peak Wise People” has been held up as a case-study in “Transforming Lives,” a report marking the end of the Government’s £20m Transformation Fund, which supported more than 300 projects including this.
Fiona Wallace, head of Losehill Hall, said: “This is a fantastic endorsement of the success of ‘Peak Wise People.’ We piloted the course for the Campaign for National Parks’ MOSAIC project - which aims to build links between ethnic minority communities and national parks. Now we are looking for opportunities for it to be rolled out elsewhere.”
The “Transforming Lives” report can be seen on the website of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education (NIACE) at www.niace.org.uk/news
For more about the MOSAIC project, go to www.mosaicnationalparks.org