Second Wilderness Experience Success

The second disabled wilderness experience has taken place following the innovative outdoor project on Arran last year. The ‘Wilderness Weekend’ introduces disabled people to woodlands and green space.

The Disabled Wilderness experience took place in Kintail (19th – 22nd June 2012). Kintail encompasses 17,422 acres of beautiful West Highland scenery and includes the dramatic Falls of Glomach and the Five Sisters of Kintail. At 113 m (370 ft), the Falls of Glomach is one of the highest waterfalls in Britain, and is set in a steep narrow cleft in remote country. The Five Sisters of Kintail is a magnificent range of high hills. Four of the peaks are over 915m (3000 ft) high.

The brainchild of this project was Julie McElroy who has Cerebral Palsy has resulted in walking difficulties, speech and hearing impairment along with manual dexterity problems. Despite this, she has led an active life. Julie was inspired to initiate this project to encourage more people with disabilities to access woodlands and green space.
Group at Kintail

Delivered in partnership by The National Trust for Scotland they worked with Scottish adventuress Julie McElroy to develop the second Wilderness Experience, which saw the group taking part in a range of outdoor activities including sea-kayaking, conservation work of tree planting and environmental arts.

Robert May, Community Partnerships Coordinator and Julie were joined by the supported staff of the National Trust for Scotland: Willie Fraser and Rule Anderson and volunteers’ staff, John Kellas and Jeanette Gray.

The Community Partnerships delivers environmental projects within the communities to all strands of equality, diversity & inclusion.

This wilderness project is designed to enhance the confidence of the participants and also increase their personal development, by allowing them the chance to take part in a series of tasks and adventures that they haven’t before. Also by helping raise awareness of the importance wild places and wild land for peoples health and well-being, the need to inspire more people to enjoy them (able bodied or disabled)”

Advertisements

Julie’s Olympic Flame

What a crazy 24 hours it has been which has been filled with fun, excitement, laughter from filming with Gavin from Glasgow2014 (Thursday 7 June). It was so enjoyable and the missionary task was made easier by the fact we were able to ‘click’ straightaway and gets on with filming my Olympic Torch story – a short trailer for Glasgow2014.

The Moment to Shine – Friday 8 June 2012
Julie & Jack

The atmosphere was incredible and Glasgow City Centre was absolutely mobbed. Friends and families turned out to support. Even faces from the past and presents were shouting my name ‘JULIE’! I was completely awestruck by the sheer scale of excitement that has enlightened the city. One of my friends put it ‘Seeing you was one of the most memorable events we have ever seen!   You looked fantastic!’ .

My slot couldn’t have been better, one of the very few torchbearers to take a stance alongside James McAvoy (Scottish Actor) and Des Clarke (Scottish Comedian) who handed the flame over to me.

I must commend Gavin Sturgeon for his strenuous efforts on Friday too. We’ve have an epic 24 hours beforehand filming my pre-Olympic Torch story which has been comprised with anticipation, fun and laughter. It can’t be easy when running along to keep up with pace of the torch, even my friends and families spotted this guy in a blue t-shirt and I said that Gavin, my film crew! I am sure the credits to Gavin will be rewarded after editing my pre Olympic Torch trailer to be release very soon.

This has been another busy year and we are only half way through and still much more to come – all will be announces in due course.

Moreover, I must thanks David Stocks of Disability Rights UK for nominating me and giving me the rein to carry such a prestigious honor and to leave a legacy for Disability Rights UK with London Olympics 2012.

Julie Carry the Olympic Torch

Julie, has been selected to take part in the Olympic Torch Relay on Friday 8 June 2012. She will carry the torch 300 metres through Glasgow city centre to celebrate the 2012 London Olympics.

Julie was nominated to be a torch bearer by Disability Rights UK, an organisation led by disabled people to help those with a disability or health conditions to participate equally as citizens.

Julie, who is one of Disability Rights UK’s 700 leadership and empowerment graduates, said: “It is an honour to carry the torch in my home city. When I was nominated, I didn’t give it much thought. I am extremely honored to have the privileged to carry the torch during the Olympics, this is a rare and prestigious opportunity. I can’t wait to soak up the atmosphere on the day.”

David Stocks, Leadership and Development Manager of Disability Rights UK, said: “I nominated Julie as an Olympic Torchbearer for her outstanding achievements since graduating from Disability Rights UK leadership programme

“Julie has campaigned for her local school and taken on numerous challenges, including crossing the Andes, championing what can be achieved with a disability. She has also delivered an inspirational speech at a Disability Rights UK leadership event, that was one of the best received speeches I have ever heard. Julie is a role model for other disabled people and a very deserving Olympic torchbearer.”