BMC's Youth Club Programme Seeks Pilot Clubs for Positive Impact

Posted by Jane Thompson on 07/08/2023

The BMC Youth Club Programme is designed to support climbing, walking and mountaineering clubs that provide opportunities for young people to participate in child-centred, supportive and enjoyable environments.

As this is a new venture for the BMC, it is initially being launched as a pilot programme.  This means that only a small number of clubs will be accepted in the first phase to work with a selection of BMC staff members so that we can learn more about whether this new programme meets the needs of the clubs and how the clubs benefit from working with us.

Key advantages of becoming a pilot club include

  • Bespoke support for your club
  • Support with developing your coaches, instructors and volunteers
  • Input in to the future of BMC Youth Clubs


What type of clubs can become a pilot club?

Clubs will

  • need to accept young people (under 18’s) as independent members of the club, i.e. there is no requirement for parents or carers to be present at the training session or for a parent/carer to be a member of the club.
  • have to focus on one (or more) mountaineering activities, namely indoor climbing, outdoor climbing, hill-walking, scrambling, mountaineering etc.
  • offer regular training sessions – usually a minimum of one session per week during school terms, and activity within at least one school-holiday period.
  • need to have a key group of people (usually a committee) who will look after the running of the club, delivery of the activity sessions and ensuring the welfare of the members is paramount.
  • need to have a suitably trained Safeguarding Officer in post.
  • adopt the BMC Child Safeguarding Policy, which includes a requirement for the Safeguarding Officer, coaches/instructors plus anyone else in a regulated position to have undertaken a DBS check via the BMC plus have attended approved safeguarding awareness training.
  • have a constitution or other governing document in place to show how the club is run.
  • have a club bank account in the club name for club funds.


What will the club and members receive for becoming a pilot club?

  • Pilot clubs will be able to access the equivalent of 4-days-worth of training for its volunteers – this can include days towards training for such awards as the Indoor Climbing Assistant, Mountain Leader, Rock Climbing Instructor, First aid.
  • Pilot clubs will be able to access free DBS checks and free safeguarding awareness training for its volunteers and discounted training for any paid coaches.
  • Safeguarding Officers will also be able to access free Time to Listen training.
  • Once affiliated, the club members will be able to access all the benefits of BMC club membership (including access to competitions) which is at a reduced rate when compared to standard BMC Individual membership.
  • In year one of affiliation the young people in the club will be able to access BMC club membership for only £10.
  • Once affiliated, the club leaders, committee, volunteers etc will be able to access additional benefits designed specifically for clubs, including an extended combined liability benefit.
  • Additional support from BMC staff members, including the Club Development Manager, England Talent Manager, Climbing Development Manager, Hill-walking Co-ordinator, Safeguarding Manager, Diversity & Inclusion Manager, and the Membership Services specialists.
  • Use of the BMC / GB Climbing Affiliated Club logo in club publications, on websites, social media etc.
  • Plus, the pilot clubs will have opportunities to help to mould the final version of the Youth Clubs.

Further benefits are in the process of being confirmed and will be announced in due course.


How do I sign up?

If you are interested in registering your club (or your plans for setting up a club) please complete the relevant expressions of interest form below and submit to the BMC.  Key staff members will review the submissions and select the first phase of pilot clubs.  It doesn’t matter whether your club has been running for a while and has many of the above requirements sorted, or if it is just a concept between you and a few friends – just let us know as we want to include many different types of clubs in the pilot.

Expressions of interest form for clubs already in existence

Expressions of interest form for clubs not yet active

Selection of the initial phase of pilot clubs will be from those clubs who submit their form by 9am on Thursday 21 September 2023.  But if you miss the deadline please still complete the form as we may be in the position to include additional clubs at a later stage of the pilot.


Surely there’s a catch?

There is no “catch”!!

All clubs selected to be a pilot club will be supported towards affiliation and helped to ensure their club is sustainable into the foreseeable future.   It is hoped each pilot club will have achieved affiliation by the end of 2023.

All pilot clubs will be expected to work with the BMC by giving feedback on the programme (accepting that this is a pilot project and not the final version, as such there may be elements that are not 100% working from the start!) and producing good practice guidance or case studies on their club.


Other questions? Need more support?

If you have further questions you may find the answers in this document, and if not or you need more support please contact


Expressions of interest form for clubs already in existence

Expressions of interest form for clubs not yet active

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When I read this my initial reaction was "fantastic” at last the BMC doing something to get youngsters into climbing" but when you read the details it only applies to youth clubs etc and why would they want to become affiliated to the BMC
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