We are delighted to have the folk of Open Country as part of the broadcast – Open Country began in 1990 as a temporary project managed by The Countryside Commission, Harrogate Borough Council, North Yorkshire Social Services, Harrogate Health Authority and the Fieldfare Trust and funded by Powergen, Yorkshire Field Studies Trust and Mencap. Since then Open Country has developed into a small charity with huge aims! On an average week they run up to fifteen countryside activities, catering for a range of abilities. Over the years they have been recognised by many awards including the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in 2006.
30 Years of Experience
Open Country has 30 years of experience in successfully organising and leading countryside activities for people with disabilities. On the back of this experience, it is able to offer high-quality information, training and advice to organisations wanting to provide better access to their countryside sites and events as well as individuals and their families wishing to access the countryside independently.
Have a look at their latest Impact Report to find out more about Open Country’s activities and what they have achieved in 2019/2020.
Access For All
Open Country have produced a range of information to encourage access for all in the countryside. They offer Countryside Directories for People with Disabilities covering the whole of Yorkshire as well as County Durham, Lancashire and Teesside. They have also produced four Breakfree Packs for the Harrogate, Nidderdale and Wharfedale areas.
The Advisory Groups
The Advisory Groups (in Harrogate and Wakefield) comprise of service user representatives from each activity group, volunteers, trustees, staff and other interested parties. The groups meets three times a year and provide a chance for everyone to feedback on activities they have run in the past, as well as helping decide which direction the charity should be going in.
Open Country have a board of nine trustees who are responsible to the community, The Charity Commission and Companies House. Between them they have a wide range of experience, including finance, business and marketing
Open Country is delighted to have two high-profile patrons, Lord Willis of Knaresborough & Harrogate and Air Commodore Simon Bostock. Paralympian David Stone MBE is our Cycling Ambassador. Their input is invaluable in all aspects of Open Country’s work.