Our outdoor education team specialises in taking groups of young people and individuals with disabilities into the great outdoors environment to enjoy a range of invigorating activities while developing personal skills, team-building and having a fun time.

YMCA activities

There’s nothing more character-building than the great outdoors!

All our projects are designed to help participants feel empowered and energised to positively take on whatever life throws at you. We use venues across Nottinghamshire and the Peak District to deliver varied outdoor activities, learn about the natural environment and expand horizons. The great outdoors can be daunting, especially when travelling away from home or school. Our trained team makes sure everyone has an educational and exhilarating experience as we inspire young participants to take a leap into the unknown.

What we offer

Depending on the package, programmes often run for either six, eight or 12 weeks with a focus on boosting personal development through goal setting and reviewing, developing personal/social skills, confidence building, and improve motivation and ultimately aspirations.

Programme activities may include:

  • Canoeing (Paddle Sport coaches will help you develop skills on the water)
  • Rock climbing
  • Abseiling
  • Mountain Biking
  • Orienteering
  • Archery
  • Kayaking
  • Weaselling

Who can attend?

Programmes are designed for:

  • Young people
  • People with disabilities
  • People at risk of becoming NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training)

YMCA delivers bespoke sessions and programmes for schools, community organisations, young person agencies, charities and any other group or club that would like to get outside and sample the wonders Nottinghamshire and the Peak District have to offer!

All our participants are encouraged to expand their horizons in a supportive and friendly environment, where they can realise their potential.

Our instructors and leaders are experts in their field, and they relish the opportunity to share their knowledge with young people.

Access to Nature

The YMCA Outdoor Education Team are collaborating with the National Trust and National Lottery Heritage Fund for the first ever Access to Nature Youth Day at Clumber Park on Saturday 17th June.

Find out More



Adventure is about expanding horizons! Connecting people with the countryside means discovery of new places, potential for learning and finding untapped interests rooted in the natural world. Our team has experience of delivering up to three day adventure expeditions, including a range of outdoor activities in North Wales or camping in the Peak District.

Our current projects

Awards For All

This Big Lottery grant funds for two nine-week programmes, including Outdoor Education, digital media, and two one-night camping residential expedition in the Peak District.

Bluecoat School

We work with the exclusion unit of Bluecoat School every Thursday, providing outdoor adventures and working to develop personal skills such as communication, trust, respect, confidence and motivation.

The Zone Youth Project

We partner with a local youth charity helping to deliver the outdoor education parts of some of their projects. This currently includes working with young homeless young people from Nottingham city and support local events for children and families. Visit The Zone’s website.

Carers Federation

We are currently supporting young carers from Nottinghamshire with outdoor opportunities on Saturdays. Our aim is to build confidence and introduce young people to new sports and clubs where they can continue to engage in the outdoor environment.

‘Reach’ project

We partner with this local organisation to deliver programmes including Archery and Canoeing programmes for disabled adults in Nottinghamshire County.

Access to Nature

Funded by the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund, Access to Nature is an outdoor education developmental programme designed to progress participants and help them onto the next stage of education/training/employment.

Case Study: Shane Miller

19-year-old ‘Get Out Get Active’ Representative and YMCA resident Shane Miller shares with us the benefits of his involvement with the Sport England funded programme, and ‘Getting into Sport’ with the YMCA Outdoor Education team in Mansfield.

Case Study: Lexus Wallbrook Hannah

22-year-old YMCA resident Lexus Wallbrook Hannah explains how the GOGA programme delivered by the charity in Mansfield empowered her to develop real skills, boost physical fitness with social opportunities and a sense of routine.

Contact us

Email: outdoor@nottsymca.org
Phone: 0115 711 7006


If you work with school groups, young people or disabled adults and are interested in our programmes, then please complete the below enquiry form to get involved.

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