A charity is hoping to raise around £350,000 to support vulnerable and underprivileged young people with their mental wellbeing post-Covid by funding outdoor educational trips.

Founder of BXM Inspired, Ben Maxfield, believes the continuing pandemic is having huge impact on youngsters’ mental health, which could worsen over time if it is not taken care of.

The charity based in Westmead aims to make the outdoors accessible to everyone, regardless of ethnicity, social, or financial background.

Ben told the Adver: “We put together some programmes for young people which are based around supporting their mental health.

“Throughout the summer holidays this year we want to run a free course for young people to attend, who suffer from the impact of the Covid pandemic. Their communication skills might have been affected by spending too much time on social media.

“This summer, what we’re planning is day activities – we’re talking about going to different places in the UK, so we’d be working around the Wiltshire area a lot and then we’re going to the Peak District and possibly the Lake District depending on funding. So, all we’re doing is using the outdoors as a tool to benefit young people’s mental health.”

Ben started his firm BXM Expeditions around 10 years ago and last year launched the charity BXM Inspired after finding out around 27 per cent of young people dropped out of outdoor educational trips due to the cost.

He added: “Originally, what the charity was set up to do was just to raise money which children could apply for if they couldn’t afford outdoor educational trips such as The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, The Venture Award, geography and history trips. And as it developed we started working with the experts we’ve got in health, helping with mental health issues and explaining why people should be in the outdoors.

“I’m extremely passionate about the outdoors, it’s really important to me. I think that over the last 10 years, what I’ve certainly seen is a deterioration of wellbeing in children, and I just think that we, as adults, must take responsibility for that and do something about it. I think the best tool for mental health is the outdoors.”

The charity has now six independent trustees including, TV and film safety and survival consultant Megan Hine, and corporate director and recent senior member of The Royal Household Tim Roberts.

The 37-year-old added: “Our trustees were keen to open up opportunities and work with professionals to combat mental health issues in young people.”

The charity runs a programme for girls, in order to help them deal with anxieties and every-day life situations and build resilience.

Another course is reserved for boy s who do not have enough aspirations and have not reached their full potential. It helps them improve their communication skills and boost their confidence.

Ben said: “Our problem is that to run these programmes which we have increased immensely due to the demand post-Covid, we need to get donations in and sponsorships from companies which a lot more difficult now.”

For further information visit:https://www.bxmoutdoors.com/pages/bxm-inspired-charity