Our state-of-the-art climbing centre and community-focused charity will open later this year in Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands. The goal of the adventure sports charity is to create a hub for the community, where the centre will be run by climbers but open to anyone hoping to learn new life skills and improve their own mental wellbeing. The opening of the centre will create up to 40 jobs while boosting the local economy by £1 million.
The facility will be part social enterprise, with a mission to offer valuable coping strategies to individuals of all ages who may be struggling in the face of adversity. As climbing gyms provide a shared experience where climbers of all levels are supported by peers, visitors can gain confidence and benefit from the camaraderie that The Ledge will create. With the vision of ‘vertical living’, a phrase that signifies standing with confidence and clarity, the charity aims not only to nurture and inspire the next generation of climbers but also to offer the skills and strategies grained through climbing as a springboard for better coping strategies, resilience and strength in all aspects of the members’ lives moving forward.
Climbing has had a profoundly positive impact on the lives of The Ledge’s founders, which is something they wish to share with others through various outreach programs. With a goal of developing an internally supportive while outwardly active and motivated community, The Ledge is developing partnerships with the likes of NHS Highland, UHI, Youth Workers and Third Sector Charities. The programmes on offer are being created with the knowledge that the first steps may often be small in order to build an individual’s confidence so that when bigger challenges arise, the foundations are laid for a new set of coping resources to be utilised.
Discussing his hopes for the future, Duncan McCallum, CEO of The Ledge, said: “The Ledge is not really the building, but the concept of community and collaboration anchored by climbing. I would like to see Ledge Centres in the likes of London, Birmingham and Dundee, or at least our programs being used in other places. It should become, or have become, the byword for changing lives in the outdoors world. If we change one life in 20 years that would be good, but of course I would like to think we will have changed hundreds for the better, created jobs, pathways and developed successful programs which could be rolled out internationally. There is no reason we cannot do this.”
A crowdfunding campaign has been launched to help support with the build of the state-of-the-art centre. To find out more and support the charity’s aims of empowering the community, the link to donate is: https://www.theledgeclimbing.com/the-ledge-bouldering-and-climbing-gym/