A NORTH Wales charity is transforming the lives of young people through the power of the outdoors.

Outside Lives was set up in 2019 by founder Lucy Powell in Gwernymynydd, with a focus on bringing together the local community through the environment and wellbeing. Thanks to more than £100,00 in National Lottery funding, the social enterprise has since flourished, with a number of projects being run in the Mold area, both at the charity's site and on the road.

The site itself is maintained by volunteers all chipping in to help with its upkeep, with 16-year-old Lottie just one of the individuals who has seen her confidence and skills grow since joining the project.


Taking part in projects with charity Outside Lives.

Some of the team hard at work with charity Outside Lives.


"I got involved because Lucy wanted a yurt building and I came to help," she said. "Then I completely fell in love with it and how amazing the stuff they do is.

"I now come every week on a Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and I have specific jobs that I do on site, such as keeping the site tidy and planting trees.

"I have learned how to interact with people because being home-schooled I didn't really learn that growing up.


Charity Outside Lives makes the most of the outdoors.

Charity Outside Lives makes the most of the outdoors.


"I have learned to talk to people which I wasn't really comfortable doing while I have also got lots of practical outdoor skills that I wouldn't have learned before."

Lottie has become an integral part of the community at Outside Lives, helping build a new bike rack, spearheading a project for a new pond, and taking part in reuse projects. It has helped her develop skills that have enabled her to opt to study agricultural machinery at college in September, and Powell believes her time on site has made a key difference.

"Lottie has always had this goal of studying at college and it was important for us to design her volunteering role around her goal," said Lucy.

Read more:

"She works a lot on the Handy and Capable team and does a lot of practical activities on site.

"We are catalysts, we support community functions and when we see people connecting outside our activities, that's when we know we've done a good job.

"What we try and do is mobilise our community so everybody who comes is contributing to the big picture.

"We don't connect or segregate people based on their perceived challenge or difficulty, we connect people based on what they love and what they are passionate about."


Volunteer Lottie embraces her role with Outside Lives.

Volunteer Lottie embraces her role with Outside Lives.


Recent figures show more than £3billion of National Lottery good causes funding has been invested over the last decade into projects like Outside Lives which specifically support and develop children and young people.

Over the past 10 years, this huge investment which has had a positive life-changing impact on children and young people across the UK, has supported over 58,000 projects which has helped them learn new skills, develop their communities as well giving them the tools to enhance their lives and the lives of others.

Lucy added: "These groups are intergenerational, from all walks of life. We are trying to generate community in its true sense.

"Everyone mucks in and picks up jobs to support the running of the days, so we are less reliant on funding."