Watch our film about the Trail Therapy programme, Recovery!
I am a occupational therapy assistant working with people experiencing mental health issue. My job mainly activity focused and mountain bike has recently introduced. I love being outdoors. I like to explore new places mostly by foot. I enjoy spending time walking and watching sunsets (sunsets are my new thing!!)
I have been into mountain biking since 2020. It was my work that introduced me to the sport. But I am so thankful. I loved every minute and I love to introduce others to mountain biking so they can reap the same benefits. Especially coming through Covid, I feel mountain biking has been my support. It helps me to unwind, relax and have fun.
It has been an absolute rollercoaster. But a good one!! I was nervous for the first few months as I hadn’t been riding for about 15 years. But after a few months I started to become more confident and now my nerves have turned into sheer excitement.
After the coaching from Paul I felt more confident with my riding skills and during the FunMBL, I learned how to plan a route and read a map which I struggled with at the start, I also had doubts in my leadership skills as a female.
I felt that the as our patient group is mainly males I thought that they wouldn’t listen or take my advice. However I have been proven wrong. The guys respect me when I lead and take my guidance/advice.
Delivering the trail therapy is a privilege, it’s new and exciting. Everyone who has attended has loved it and reaped the benefits. They have went on to develop further knowledge on bike maintenance which is excellent and also have arranged to meet independently out with the group to go a cycle (such a proud moment!!).
It comforts me to know that when taking our guys out that they are having a great time while learning new skills from a social aspect to biking and a whole lot more! And the most important aspect to me is a sense of achievement they feel after each ride – you can’t beat it!
100%! I can’t recommend it enough as we have had such a positive experience. And all feedback we have received has been positive.
All you need is a bike and helmet and your good to go! Trail therapy can be delivered in urban or rural so the opportunities to cycle are endless!
I would absolutely love to see trail therapy being easily accessed to the wider public. As I feel if this was accessed at early stages of say depression the outcome for the person may be very different.
Freedom, fun and thrill!
I am an Occupational Therapist and have worked with people who experience mental health problems for the last 25 years. My job has always meant that I am involved in offering activity based treatment however being involved in MTB is completely new to me!
I have always enjoyed being outdoors but that mainly meant walking in the countryside with the dog.
My son had taken up mountain biking as we live close to Cathkin Braes so I had been watching him for a couple of years and had decided to try a few of the trails myself as it looked like fun.
Although I was riding I didn’t have the best technique or the knowledge on how to do it properly so it was a bit touch and go sometimes! When Covid hit I was travelling to work on the train so I decided to buy an e-bike for commuting to avoid the crowds.
This was the great as it meant I could ride further distances and get uphill more easily. I then moved job in the summer of 2021 and was very lucky to move into a mental health team that had started to offer MTB to the patient group and I was encouraged from the start to join in. I could see the buzz that our patients were getting from being involved in this activity and it made me want to become more involved and ride more often.
I was nervous completing the FunMBL course as I was in a group with very experienced MTB riders however it was made easier as I have found the MTB community so welcoming and encouraging.
For me, being a mountain bike leader is a big responsibility so I am fortunate that I have the chance to learn from the other leaders in the team however I am aware that it is important that I develop my own style of leadership.
Grading the route and the ride is natural for me as an OT as this is how we adapt treatment so it is nice to be able to transfer my skills. Thankfully I got the chance to get some coaching from Paul to prepare me for this and this let me try a variety of trails which was a great experience! It took me out of my comfort zone but I survived and rode trails I wouldn’t have tried without his encouragement.
Delivering Trail therapy is one of the most exciting experiences that I have had the fortune to be involved in.
It has really expanded the treatment opportunities for our patient group. Everyone looks forward to our Friday ride but even more than that it has captured the interest of people who have struggled to engage with more traditionally run groups.
It has since developed into much more than riding once a week, many of our patients now have their own mountain bikes and go for a ride alone or with other members of the group. Some are now involved in learning about cycle maintenance and this will hopefully be developed as part of their rehabilitation.
It has been amazing watching this group of men forming relationships within the group and cheering each other on. Some have gone on to take on supportive roles within the group and will motivate and encourage their peers during a ride which is great to watch.
Watching the smiles, hearing the whoops as they ride down a trail such as Glentress is worth all the hard work behind the scenes. I also enjoy the joint working it promotes within our team as it is delivered by OT and nursing staff. We even had a Foundation Year Doctor join us a few times!
100%! Our experience has only been positive and I can’t recommend this enough. I think it can be used in any clinical setting and be delivered by NHS staff and non-statutory services alike.
Whilst there is an initial outlay for equipment and training, all you need on the day is a bike, some kit and you are on your way. It can easily be delivered in most areas whether urban or rural. Opportunities for cycling are endless nowadays and are only going to expand. It gives people the opportunity to experience enjoyment, challenge and achievement which is not easily achieved when experiencing mental ill health
I would love to see people in all health board areas being able to access this so there is equal access across the country.
Exhilaration, freedom and adventure!
Trail Therapy and the Endura Lifecycle Trust
New MTB & Mental Health ‘Trail Therapy’ Project – Ready to Ride
3 more volunteers needed for our Trail Therapy programme in Dundee!
Trek - Support for Scottish Mountain Biking
As a company, Trek are hugely supportive of the Scottish mountain bike scene and we would like to share some of the areas that they are getting involved and really making a difference.
To develop and sustain Scotland as a premier riding destination we help ensure that the right trails are in the right place, and built and managed by the right people.
Mountain biking can play a role in making Scotland healthier. By increasing participation, through targeted programmes, we aim to help make our amazing country a healthier and happier nation.
Our work focuses on building on our key destination's strengths, pushing for development and supporting areas and businesses to improve the experience for riders.
We work with Edinburgh Napier University, through MTBCOS, and our enterprise agencies - encouraging businesses to develop and promote new products and services for mountain bikers contributing significantly to the sustainable growth of Scotland’s economy.
Inspired to visit Lochaber and ride the trail in the film? Check out our ride guide!
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