Since 2010, we’ve been creating access and driving equity
in the outdoors
by funding hundreds of organisations around
two main themes: Enabling Exploration and Loving Wild Places.

But this year was no normal year. This year those very organisations that help us explore and protect the outdoors
we love have faced an unprecedented challenge, one that jeopardised their existence. We were – and still are – in a position to help.
So we committed and additional €1 million to support those communities that make exploration possible.

2021 Explore Fund Council

Creatives. Scholars.
Outdoor leaders. Athletes.

The explore Fund Council brings together experts from all walks of life to find
creative solutions to celebrate all the ways we as humans explore.

Molly
Thompson-Smith

Lead Climber.
Five-time National Champion.

Learn more

Mya-Rose
Craig

Writer. Speaker.
Broadcaster.
Activist.

Learn more

​​David Djite

Snowboarder.
Diversity and inclusivity advocate.

Learn more

Stephanie Case

Lawyer.
Women’s rights advocate. Ultrarunner.

Learn more

Phil Young

Broadcaster. Snowboarder.
Outdoor specialist.

Learn more

Emilia Zensile Roig

Political scientist.
Author. Decolonial explorer.

Learn more

Laurianne Melierre

Journalist. Editor.
Outdoor enthusiast.

Learn more

Our work.

The communities making
exploration possible

In May 2019, The North Face pledged €1 million to support organisations impacted by COVID-19.
Here are the first of those stories.

WILD IN THE CITY | UK

WILD IN THE CITY
| UK

Supporting and enhancing the wellbeing of urban-dwelling people of colour through developing relationships with nature.

“Being part of a community of people of colour, who gather in nature to learn, explore and have fun, helps people to feel a sense of belonging, that they’re not out of place.”

Beth Collier
Charity Co-Director

URBAN UPRISING | UNITED KINGDOM

URBAN UPRISING
| UNITED KINGDOM

Enabling disadvantaged young people to achieve their goals and improve their wellbeing through climbing

“We use rock climbing as a tool to develop life skills – things like building confidence, building resilience and, more obviously, physical health which is tied to mental health. One of the most debilitating things in life is this fear of failure; it’s a barrier to so many things. Climbing is all about failure. Here you’re failing more than you’re succeeding so it teaches you how to deal with that failure, which is an important part of long-term resilience.”

Ben Campbell
Programme Manager at Urban Uprising

SUNDERLAND WALL | UNITED KINGDOM

SUNDERLAND WALL
| UNITED KINGDOM

Supporting healthy, active lifestyles through a range of climbing styles and educational programmes to people of all abilities and backgrounds.

“We believe exercise, active and healthy lifestyles are massively important, improving quality of life and mental wellbeing. With climbing specifically, you learn new things about yourself and improve in ways you didn’t realise you could, all while socialising, meeting new people and sharing new experiences. We’ve created new friendship groups, helped people overcome their biggest fears and we’ve brought people through the dark times in their life, too.”

Ashleigh Loughlin
Senior instructor at Sunderland Wall

THE OUTWARD BOUND TRUST | GERMANY

THE OUTWARD BOUND TRUST
| GERMANY

Running experiential outdoor education programmes on personal development and team building with teenagers and young adults.

“Outward Bound changes lives. It pushes you to the limits and after you've done an Outward Bound course then you know what you're capable of. You become aware of the power within you and where your limits lie. And that's why life after Outward Bound is never the same as it was before Outward Bound.”

Tine Edlhuber
Head of Customer Relationship Management

ICH WILL DA RAUF | GERMANY

ICH WILL DA RAUF
| GERMANY

Creating inclusive environments for people with and without disabilities where everyone can enjoy climbing, together.

“Inclusion and equal participation in society is a human right. Yet separation is still an everyday experience for many people with disabilities. We want to change that. We realise that creating safe spaces to spend time together and get to know each other is key.”

Lena Frank
, project manager at Ich Will Da Rauf

RIFUGI DI LOMBARDIA | ITALY

RIFUGI DI LOMBARDIA
| ITALY

Sharing information, supporting and promoting mountain huts and activities in Italy’s Lombardy region

“Lombardy was one of the hardest hit regions in Italy and there is no doubt the situation with Covid-19 will have lasting impacts on tourism. We want to continue supporting the 140 mountain huts in Lombardy that enable mountain exploration, because we want people to experience that authentic mix of fun, adventure and culture that enables them to fully immerse themselves in the natural surroundings. Mountain huts are vital for protecting the local area and providing support for hikers and climbers and they’re an integral part of mountain life and history in the Alps.”

Elena Marinoni
, volunteer Communication Manager for Rifugi di Lombardia

PROTECT OUR WINTERS | FRANCE

PROTECT OUR WINTERS
| FRANCE

A community of athletes, scientists and business leaders raising awareness about climate change and protecting the great outdoors for future generations of mountain-sports lovers.

‘We encourage everyone to travel by foot, bike, skis – all tools that allow you to move with strength and explore nature and look at what’s there, right in front of you.’

Antoine Pin
Director of Protect Our Winters France

WOMEN'S MOUNTAIN CLUB | FRANCE

WOMEN'S MOUNTAIN CLUB
| FRANCE

Supporting and enabling women to spend more time in the outdoors by developing a community of skiers, hikers and climbers.

‘We're really passionate about what we've created for our female community. We're trying to push women in the mountains and develop and grow them as a person, so they feel they're making achievements, big or small.’

Rachel Kerr
Co-Founder of Women’s Mountain Club

ENABLING EXPLORATION

Exploration is within everyone, but some face more barriers than others. By removing obstacles and empowering people, we change the way we think about the outdoors, ourselves and our place on the planet. We open ourselves to the wide range of cultures and experiences that connect us.

LOVING WILD PLACES

For over 50 years, we’ve worked to protect wild places and create connections to outdoor playgrounds, both on mountaintops and in city parks. There is incredible value in the physical and mental benefits of exploring the outdoors, and we want that opportunity to be available for everyone, now and into the future.