Ain’t no mountain high enough!
11 December 2019 | Wales
Meet the woman behind UK's largest female adventure community
A community of women with a shared love of adventure are breaking barriers for females across the UK. Called Love Her Wild, they encourage and give opportunities for women to travel, reconnect with nature and grow in confidence.
The group looks to bring together like-minded women with a love of the outdoors through affordable all-female team adventures, as well as offering a supportive online forum, mentoring programme and free places to women in need.
The brainchild behind the UK's largest female adventure community is Bex Band, 31, who decided she wanted to help women like her. She first launched as a Facebook group two years ago and the community grew rapidly with over 6,500 women now members.
“We want women to realise what they are truly capable of,” explains Bex. “We think that happens best when you are outdoors challenging yourself, surrounded by supportive women who have got your back.”
She founded Love Her Wild after a trip to Israel changed her life. “I had been switching jobs but couldn’t find contentment. I found I was trying to fit into a society that didn’t suit me and eventually I became depressed. So I quit my teaching job and went on a huge adventure - hiking the length of Israel over 54 days. It stripped back everything and gave me headspace. It also built my confidence and made me realise my potential. I haven’t stopped since.
“I realised I felt very passionate about the power of the outdoors and felt strongly about other women getting to experience adventures. For too long it has been the privilege of men. That’s why I set up Love Her Wild to help other women access adventure in a more supportive and fun way.”
Bex, from Bristol, realised there were often two main barriers to women taking on adventures - confidence and cost. She set out to eliminate this with a Deserving Women Scheme. Candidates are judged on both their suitability but also their financial restrictions.
To date, Love Her Wild has given away over 45 places on adventures and have provided kit to over 25 women to help make the outdoors more accessible.
Other trips like their Woods Expedition invite women to apply for a five day free adventure which aims to prove that adventures really can be accessible to women of all shapes and sizes. Over 100 women also recently applied to take part in their Everest Adventure at no cost. The final six shortlisted women were chosen not on their experience but on what this adventure might mean to them and on their passion to inspire more women to get outdoors.
Bex adds: “For the women who take part, it really can be life-changing. Many have gone home and changed careers, and their whole lives.”
Seanna Fallon, 32, is just one who has gained from a no-cost adventure with Love Her Wild after applying. “We walked the equivalent of Everest but over different peaks in the Lake District. It was all about getting women of all different backgrounds out in nature.
“I had been struggling with my mental health and had a real lack of confidence. But the trip was so beneficial for me. It kick-started a sense of adventure and I felt I’d met ‘my’ people. When I got back, I felt I wanted to be a part of it all. Now I help go through the applications for their Deserving Women Scheme.”
Bex was a recent winner of an Enterprise Nation’s Next Generation Award. Enterprise Nation has teamed up with Enterprise Trust and TSB to inspire, engage and educate the next generation of entrepreneurs in the UK through events, training and online resources.