news 19 July 2023

Black Girls Hike UK start delivering the DofE for young people

Photography credit: Black Girls Hike (BGH)

Black Girls Hike have been licensed by the DofE to offer young people in Greater Manchester the chance to achieve their Award.

Young Black participants will have the chance to discover new talents, develop lifelong skills and build their resilience and self-belief by working towards their Award, thanks to new funding aimed at supporting more community and voluntary organisations across the UK to start running the DofE.

As part of Black Girls Hike’s 2022-2023 plans, they will be developing a specialised strand to their services that focuses purely on working with young women to support their physical wellbeing through nature-based activities including DofE.

Black Girls Hike (BGH) is confident that, via this work, they will be able to reach many young people and encourage them into physical activity.

Black Girls Hike develop services and projects to increase the participation and development of black women in the outdoors, offering opportunities to engage, and working with the wider outdoor industry to meet the needs of the Black community. They tackle the lack of inclusion and representation of Black women in the outdoors, hosting nationwide group hikes, outdoor activity events, training weekends and international trips.

Rhiane Fatinikun, CEO of Black Girls Hike, said:

“I’ve always been passionate about social equity, inclusion and community development. I founded Black Girls Hike in 2019 to prioritise my wellbeing and create a space for the community to adventure and connect with nature.

“Black Girls Hike was born out of a desire to break down barriers and create a more inclusive outdoors. Community, inclusion, and education are at the heart of everything we do. I’m delighted we are expanding our reach to support and empower young people from our community into the outdoors, and to unlock their full potential. I can’t wait to see them flourish.”

Photography credit: Black Girls Hike (BGH)

Alice Whittle, Black Girls Hike DofE Manager and Project Coordinator, said:

“This is a fantastic opportunity. Personally, growing up in an area that lacks resources, funding and therefore opportunities, the DofE was always considered something not available to me. Now to be in the position to offer and help young people like me overcome that barrier and take part in a life changing opportunity is an extraordinary achievement.”

Through BGH’s existing platforms and partnerships, they have access to organisations that support young people, meaning exposure of this project will be far-reaching.

The grant comes from the DofE’s Access Without Limits funding, which offers financial and practical support to allow community and voluntary organisations to run the DofE, giving opportunities to young people who might not otherwise have the chance.

Anyone who would like more information, to register to complete their DofE through Black Girls Hike or to support our efforts to deliver The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, can either visit the Black Girls Hike website or email [email protected].

Black Girls Hike will be hosting an event to celebrate the launch of the DofE through their organisation at Platt Fields Market Garden, Manchester, between 12-6pm on Saturday 23rd September.

Ruth Marvel, CEO of The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said:

“We’re absolutely delighted that Black Girls Hike will now be offering The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Black Girls Hike provides a safe space for Black women to explore the outdoors, so we are excited to be partnering with them to widen access to the Award and ensure that all young people can enjoy the natural world.

“Doing DofE can be life-changing for young people – helping them learn vital skills, grow in resilience and self-belief, make new friends and discover passions and talents they never knew they had, all while working towards a widely-recognised and respected Award. All young people deserve chances like this – I can’t wait to see what those who do their DofE with Black Girls Hike go on to achieve.”

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