Come Outside! programme

The current Come Outside! programme ended on 31 March 2016. The programme enabled 260 organisations to involve nearly 3,500 people from deprived communities in over 1,000 outdoor activity sessions

The programme delivered important learning for future initiatives seeking to tackle physical inactivity and improve the health, well-being and employability of those most in need. The programme received £1.1m funding from Big Lottery (53%), Welsh Government (19%) and Natural Resources Wales (28%).

Please have a look at Come Outside! Headline Results and Key Learning and 12 case studies to find out what we achieved and learnt from over 3 years of delivery. The Executive Summary and full Evaluation Report  and Appendices  (produced by consultants Trilein Ltd and Shepherd and Moyes Ltd) provide more detailed information.

Addressing the challenge

Outdoor activity is proven to benefit mental and physical health, confidence, self-esteem and employability. However, 70% of people in Wales don’t do enough activity to fully gain these benefits. Although Wales offers lots of opportunities for outdoor activity, many people need specific support to enable them to overcome multiple barriers to accessing and benefitting from the outdoors.

Breaking down barriers

Come Outside!’s innovative approach was to match people’s interest and aspirations with exciting and memorable outdoor activities, enabling them to overcome personal barriers and to try out new ways of getting active.

Come Outside! enabled those who have the most to gain from outdoor activity, to get more active, and crucially to sustain their involvement, through:

  • Learning about nature, the night sky, local history and culture, and exploring on foot, by bike, paddling and using new technology
  • Developing outdoor skills in bushcraft, habitat improvement, angling, identifying wildlife, green woodworking, making music outdoors and photography, and developing the skills and confidence to lead others in these activities
  • Outdoor fun and games bringing communities and families closer together and closer to nature

How we worked

Come Outside! reached those with sedentary lifestyles, living in deprived areas, by targeting the support organisations who work with them, in the community, young people and health and social care sectors. The Come Outside! Co-ordinators inspired and motivated the support workers to join up with local outdoor providers and gave them the skills and confidence to use outdoor activities in local greenspaces, as part of their service provision.

To find out more

  • Have a look at the Programme Updates below, from May 2014 to November 2015
  • The Headline Results and Key Learning document below is a 2-page summary of the final Evaluation Report. Below is also the Executive Summary of the final report
  • 12 case studies representing the breadth of the programme and the impact it made on organisations and individuals 

To enable community groups and service providers to have the knowledge and skills to be responsible for themselves and their groups in low-level outdoor activity we have developed the Come Outside! Outdoor Activity Learning Programme. The programme is accredited with Agored Cymru.

To get in touch, please email:

Case Study Documents Downloads

Caerphilly - Benefits of outdoor activity sustained for a Healthy Eating group

Cardiff - Mother-daughter relationships strengthened by discovering new outdoor opportunities together

Merthyr Tydfil - Unemployed men benefit when geocaching is used as an engagement and learning tool

Pontypridd - Value of community gardening to residents of a women’s refuge

Rhyl - Outdoor project benefits young people and their community

Swansea - Improving parenting skills and wellbeing through outdoor activities

Swansea - Outdoor activity training enhances the National Exercise Referral Scheme

Swansea - Value of bushcraft in supporting veterans suffering from PTSD

Torfaen - Influencing social services to use outdoor activities to support people with learning disabilities

Torfaen - Young adults with learning disabilities build skills and confidence outdoors

Wrexham - Adults with disabilities gain new skills working with green wood from NRW's estate

Wrexham - Families with children with ADHD gain confidence and skills through outdoor activities

Related document downloads

Come Outside! Headline Results and Key Learning March 2016 PDF [388.4 KB]
Final Evaluation Report March 2016 PDF [2.2 MB]
ComeOutside! Programme Update 9 PDF [1.7 MB]
Come Outside! Programme Update 8 PDF [457.6 KB]
Programme update 7 July 2015 PDF [352.0 KB]
Programme update 6 May 2015 PDF [427.4 KB]
Programme update 5 March 2015 PDF [403.5 KB]
Programme update 4 November 2014 PDF [544.6 KB]
Programme update 3 September 2014 PDF [378.5 KB]
Programme update 2 July 2014 PDF [23.1 MB]
Programme update 1 May 2014 PDF [4.8 MB]