Supported by Sported:
Boots and Beards work with communities to improve their health and wellbeing through a range of activities around Scotland.
“We go all over,” proclaims Javid. “We’ve done Munros. We’ve done Bens. We do everything, just depending on the weather.”
Founded in 2016 and run by a Muslim organisation in Glasgow, Boots and Beards aims to explore terrain which has been left untouched by many.
Overseen by five trustees and a dedicated group of staff and volunteers, it addresses an identified need: a lower quality of physical and mental health among ethnic minority communities.
It has five core tenets in its mission: Inspire Leadership, Improve Lives,
Our Community, Health and Well-being and Embrace Nature.
To make a huge impact, it puts boots on the ground.
“The aim is to get the community out there, on the mountains,” Javid adds.
“Scotland is beautiful and a lot of our community have not explored Scotland. So the main aim is to get them all fit and healthy, out in the fresh air and make new friends.”
Its activities extend beyond walking. There are badminton groups, a Duke of Edinburgh award scheme for young people, fitness groups and walks in the park.
It has created a spin-off women-specific group called Bonnie Boots to “provide a safe space where women can work out freely and participate fully with confidence,” empowering women through a safe social space while engaging in mental health and wellbeing.
Through Sported, Boots and Beards has accessed expert advice on strategic planning, fundraising and administration, as well as webinars and specialist resources through the digital Sported Hub.
“Groups like Boots and Beards don’t fall inside the traditional structures that support groups offering physical activity but that’s where Sported steps in to make sure they get what they need,” said Dee Pearson of Sported’s Scotland team.
“They make a huge impact in empowering their local community and we’re here to help them thrive.”