Inclusive Outdoor Activities For Teens
Inclusive environmental & outdoor activities for 12 to 18 years old
Calling for nature and adventure-loving families and teenagers! Nature Freedom is a not-for-profit social enterprise organisation for young people with disabilities and mental health to find their meaningful access and participation to nature and outdoor activities.
Inclusive nature-based activities
Nature Freedom runs activities mostly on weekends, twice a month. The activities include canoeing, kayaking, camping, bushwalking and many more outdoor activities are on offer. This year Nature Freedom started running inclusive citizen science projects. This is where young people are able to build experiences on environmental science projects at local environmental centres and nature locations. For example: a clay air drying project to make wind chimes. This is an eco-friendly activity.
The purpose of Nature Freedom
The purpose behind Nature Freedom is to ensure that young people with disabilities have an opportunity to experience the activities that other young people experience. Young people with disabilities deserve the opportunity to be included in activities and interact with nature.
Nature Freedom uses an inclusive and accessible natural environment to create a platform for social inclusion. Social connection is important for young people with disabilities and mental health issues to experience. It gives them the chance to explore passions and shared common interests among others.
Nature Freedom focuses on natural environments to maximise environmental awareness and the benefits of protecting the natural environment. This gives participants, from all walks of life, a sense of purpose and inclusiveness. It stirs their passions to help save the natural environment from destruction.
The history of Nature Freedom
Nature Freedom is founded by a young adult with disabilities who is very passionate about the natural environment and getting out there on adventures. Mathew Townsend, the founder of Nature Freedom, has been excluded from many environmental and adventure activities through school and university years. He felt socially isolated, anxious and depressed for not wanting to achieve and maintain his passions about protecting the environment, and enjoying nature. Disability prejudice is a big issue for many people with disabilities while trying to find purpose in their lives; making friendships and relationships, and find employment opportunities. Through the years of being excluded, he managed to find his favourite activities. They are – creating citizen science projects especially weed weaving, going on adventures such as canoeing, hiking, camping and swimming.
In the outdoor sector, they found that the lack of opportunity for inclusive and accessible activities is an issue, therefore, people with disabilities and mental health issues don’t get the chance to explore nature through recreational activity. At Nature Freedom, they minimise the barriers from those accessing the outdoor activities. They provide support services with co-designed elements that enable all participants to have the same shared experiences.