If you’re an adventurous sort looking for a new challenge in 2020, getting involved with the Ordnance Survey’s (OS) GetOutside campaign could be for you. Set up four years ago to combat the major decline in the UK’s physical health, the initiative is centred on a cohort of GetOutside champions from across the UK who help to inspire and inform the public.
As the national mapping agency for Great Britain, best known for its detailed maps of the country’s rural areas, the OS has a long history of inspiring British adventurers. To assist in this goal it is currently hiring the next wave of GetOutside champions and applicants have until 20 December to apply.
Mountaineers, explorers, Duke of Edinburgh leaders, cyclists and hikers made up just a portion of the 2019 team, but all that’s really required is a resounding passion and excitement for being outside, along with some inspiring stories and a few ideas to help make a difference to the lives of 20 million people across Britain who struggle to spend enough time outside.
‘We are hugely excited to be welcoming a new group of incredible individuals next year,’ says Liz Beverley from OS. ‘We know that working alongside our existing champions they will trailblaze the way for the next generation, shifting screen time into green time. If you are an outdoor enthusiast, are ready to motivate and encourage others and can bring something new to the table, then you could become part of a formidable team. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are, your background, and even your ability. You don’t need to have scaled Mount Everest or to have explored Antarctica, you just need to love the outdoors and have the drive to help make a real difference.’
Champions contribute to the initiative by sharing stories, experiences, top tips and activity guides on the GetOutside website and across social media. There are also a range of focus groups, events, workshops and partner collaborations that run throughout the year. In return, champions receive a free 12-month subscription to OS Maps, opportunities to test new outdoor products and services, access to funding for projects, a GetOutside kit and a small sponsorship payment.
According to the OS, the campaign currently reaches around six million people a year. It’s now looking to keep up the work and inspire the entire nation to embrace the outdoors. Research shows that on average, adults in England spend more than nine hours a day sitting down in a sedentary position, while only one in five people meet the World Health Organization’s guidelines of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day. The reasons are complicated and varied, but sometimes a bit of inspiration can go a long way.