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Boulders partnership to help people climb their way to wellness

Boulders, the Cardiff-based indoor climbing centre, and Cardiff Mind have recently announced their new partnership aimed at improving mental health and wellness in Welsh communities through climbing.  
In today’s world where we have fewer face-to-face interactions; with work often being hybrid or remote, counselling and therapy sessions held over a laptop or phone, and where we find ourselves scrolling social media for hours on end, finding ways to switch off and prioritise our mental health has never been more important. 
As the UK grapples with a growing mental health crisis, more and more people are looking for alternative ways to alleviate stress and anxiety. One such activity is indoor climbing, and while many people might see climbing as a physically demanding sport, it’s also the perfect activity for beginners. Climbing offers so much more than just physical fitness; iserves as gateway to improved mental wellbeing, providing a unique combination of challenges, mindfulness, and social interaction.  
The partnership between Boulders and Cardiff Mind offers free group climbing sessions once a month for adults and children who use Cardiff Mind’s services. Boulders, who pride themselves on their welcoming, community-driven environment, hope that attendees will meet new people, gain confidence and fall in love with the sport. 
Ollie Noakes, co-founder of Boulders, is a huge advocate of the benefits of climbing, and through the partnership he hopes to help the people of Welsh communities struggling with their mental health. 
Speaking about the impact climbing has had on him, Ollie said, “Stepping into an indoor climbing gym offers an escape from the daily grind. Whether you’re heading in for the first time or a regular, you can immerse yourself in the vertical world and the worries and stresses of daily life fade into the background. 
Adding to this, Liz Ayres, Head of Base Camp at Boulders said, “Taking up climbing provides an opportunity for personal growth. With each route or challenge tackled, you’re pushed outside of your comfort zone, and as you reach new heights, both physically and mentally, you develop resilience and learn to navigate challenges. 
The sense of accomplishment from trying a difficult route or solving a boulder problem can boost your confidence and empower you to face challenges beyond the climbing wall.  
Jack, a casual climber at Boulders, said, “Focusing on tackling the routes requires a lot of concentration. It forces my mind away from any anxious or negative thoughts I might be having and helps me push past them as I have to focus on the task ahead. It’s an opportunity to leave behind the screens and distractions for an hour or two. I feel great afterwards.” 
Indoor climbing offers opportunities for social interaction and community engagement. Boulders is buzzing with a diverse mix of individuals united by their love for the sport. Whether you’ve never climbed before or you’re pro, the community will welcome you in and support you from the get-go. 
Speaking about the partnership, Farah Awad, community connector at Cardiff Mind said, “Engaging in activities like climbing provides a chance to meet like-minded people, form new friendships, and share experiences. The encouragement and camaraderie found within the climbing community is second to none, which can enhance your sense of belonging and boost your overall wellbeing.”  
The announcement of the collaboration comes just weeks after the opening of Boulders’ second Cardiff site, their third in the UK. Speaking about the new centre, Co-founder of Boulders Ollie Noakes said, “Cardiff is where Boulders was born. We truly believe that climbing is a sport that everyone can enjoy; by opening our second site here we’re making climbing more accessible so that even more people can enjoy the sport and its many benefits.”