Ten members of Love4Life, FitzRoy’s friendship and dating project for people with learning disabilities and autism, went to Rock Up climbing centre in Whiteley to see if they had what it takes to conquer climbing walls! Hayley Ostler, Love4Life Coordinator, told us more.
At Love4Life we think it’s really important to encourage healthy living and physical exercise, so we run activities that are more inclusive for people who have a learning disability or autism. We work hard to offer more accessible fitness classes, for instance Zumba classes which are taught at a slower pace and are less noisy for people with different sensory needs, or our boxing sessions.
After the success that we’ve had with our other fitness themed events, Love4Life members decided that they would like to give rock climbing a go. When we booked with Rock Up, they were really great and made sure the session was closed to other members of the public, to give us a quieter session. This was really important, because it meant that everyone could relax, go at a slower pace, and not feel embarrassed that anyone was watching them.
The beauty of this event was that everyone had the chance to challenge themselves, push personal boundaries, and build confidence. Some of the members had been before so took on bigger walls but many hadn’t, so they were being brave and trying something brand new. Everyone was encouraging each other, cheering from the ground. It was great to see the members being so supportive of one another which is really what Love4Life is all about.
Rock climbing was a great success. Everyone absolutely loved it and said they would like to come again in the future. It can be a big deal for some of our members to try something new. Many people said that they never would have tried rock climbing without the support of Love4Life, so it’s great that we can open up new opportunities.â