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Highland initiative Clarity Walks takes step forward with £1000 donation from BEAR Scotland

By Hector MacKenzie

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BEAR Scotland has donated £1000 on behalf of all staff to Highland-based charity Clarity Walks, an organisation dedicated to bringing people together through nature to connect communities and reduce isolation, anxiety and depression.

The charity offers various activities where they aim to encourage people to take time away from digital devices and spend more time in nature.

They have Digital Detox walks that are 1-2 hour guided walks in the Highlands designed for all abilities and referral programs to support those referred by GP’s counsellors and mental health charities. You can become a member and schedule a walk at a day, time and level that suits you.

They have a men’s only project, where they walk and talk in a group for 1-2 hours allowing men to be themselves and connect through nature with the aim of building a stronger, more connected male community. They also provide one-to-one walks for those who aren’t ready for a group setting.

Clarity Walks also offer a five-week nature programme for local schools to help children take time away from digital devices and learn valuable skills outdoors whilst having fun. They can facilitate this program in school grounds or local forests.

Since August 2019, Clarity Walks have supported seven people to return to work after being signed off for mental health issues and have supported over seven thousand attendees of all ages and abilities to enjoy nature with no digital distractions.

Clarity Walk is the fifth local cause to receive a £1000 boost on behalf of BEAR Scotland staff in 2022 after employees were invited to nominate worthy causes that were important to them.

In return for the donation, Clarity Walk kindly offered BEAR employees a guided walk, including a food break, to improve wellbeing by taking time away from digital devices and enjoying nature.

Matt Wallace, founder and managing director of Clarity Walk, said: “With the generous donation from BEAR Scotland we will fund our free projects to reach and support more people facing mental health issues.

“We will also use part of the donation towards the launch of my book called ‘My Walk to Clarity’ which is going to support thousands.”

Iain Murray, BEAR Scotland’s managing director said: “Clarity Walks is a great charity in Inverness that has helped thousands of people get outdoors and disconnect from their digital devices.

“We are glad to hear that our donation will go towards the free programmes Clarity Walks offer and help more people struggling with their mental health. It highlights why we launched the £1000 charity initiative and why we continue to support regional and local causes in the areas of Scotland in which BEAR operates.”

Each month, information will be shared about each of the remaining regional charities and how BEAR is supporting them.

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