National Lottery Heritage Fund to strengthen Pathmakers resilience

This year Pathmakers, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, are undertaking an exciting new project ‘Paving the Way’ focused on organisational resilience. Building on the successes to date the project will help the charity to consider how it will meet future needs. Trustees will take part in a series of facilitated workshops, site visits and community events to gain deep insight into their beneficiaries and focus future Pathmakers activities.

Pathmakers as a charity seeks to help people get out into the Norfolk countryside, particularly those groups who experience barriers to getting outdoors. Pathmakers has a unique opportunity (as the only charitable arm of a Local Access Forum in the UK) to not only understand the needs of local people but attract funding to make improvements beyond the county council’s statutory commitments.

In its first five years, Pathmakers has already successfully managed projects worth over £100,000 from funds including from the European Social Fund, FCC Communities Foundation, Innovate UK and Ordnance Survey. Projects have delivered increased accessibility for those with physical impairments at Burgh Castle with a 600m board walk, improved rural employment opportunities working with young people and local businesses, and tested an app for use by urban communities to promote their own local walks to access the countryside.

The funding for ‘Paving the Way will allow Pathmakers to benefit from the expertise of Community Action Norfolk (CAN), a charity that supports the VCSE sector. They will support trustees to review previous activities and prioritise ideas for future projects to produce a five year strategic plan, a fundraising and comms strategy and an improved website to engage its beneficiaries.

During the course of the project Pathmakers will engage a range of stakeholders including landowners and land managers, organisations working to get people outdoors, and people who face barriers accessing the countryside. We will be organising community events and approaching people directly for feedback. In the meantime, please get in touch if you would like to understand more about the project and ways to get involved.

Contact Pathmakers Coordinator Niki Taigel