Graeme has been volunteering at the BMC for over 10 years, he volunteers as part of the Equity Steering Group and has worked hard to help the BMC achieve the Intermediate Equality Standard.
Are you a climber or a hill walker?
I do both, and have done for the last 35 years including a few peaks and climbs abroad.
What is the highlight of your climbing/hill walking/mountaineering?
A couple of things. Passing my MIA ( as it was called that then) mainly because of the journey leading up to it, learning new stuff and getting lots of climbing time in.
Being out on crags with friends and the laugh you have. When I look at it in more detail the climbs were great but being with good mates slightly outweighs that.
Why did you choose to get involved with the BMC?
I like the BMC mainly because I really like the British attitude towards climbing, mainly the traditional style. British rock climbing history is really enjoyable to read about and I think the BMC have done a great job in maintaining that, not just for the sake of not changing but protecting a strong ethic which also has strong environmental links.
I have also really enjoyed working with the staff team at the BMC. There are some strong characters with a wealth of knowledge in the outdoors, but very modest with it.
What do you do at the BMC and what impact has this had?
I’ve volunteered for the BMC for over 10 years, mainly in the disability area of work. I have worked jointly with the BMC to form the GB paraclimbing team and also managed the team for a period. I’ve worked on the Equity Steering Group for a number of years and am heavily involved in delivering a disability awareness course called Climbing for All. I have also worked to forge stronger links with key partners i.e. AMI, MTUK to support continuity in equity. I feel I have had an impact in opening up opportunities for people of all abilities to be able to enjoy climbing, hill walking and mountaineering.
What would you recommend to people looking to volunteer at the BMC?
For my particular area of work in the BMC it is exciting times, mainly because of growing research showing that being outdoors is great for mental health and wellbeing with more public funding being directed at these areas. The BMC is also looking to a much more diverse audience these days. The hills aren’t just for one part of the British population.
However there is still loads going on at the elite end with the climbing teams, mountaineering and really hard trad routes still being climbed, which is essential because that forms a big part of its appeal.
To find out more about the Equity Steering Group please click here
To read about the Equality Standard, click here.
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