A rush of goodwill: 7 adventurous social enterprises
Living on the edge doesn't mean you have to let go of your principles. Here are seven social enterprises guaranteed to appeal to thrill seekersl!
1. Go-karting at The Experience
Think you are the next Lewis Hamilton? Then get yourself to The Experience and jump in the driver’s seat of one of the leisure complex’s karts and hurtle round the 650m track racing your friends and the clock. At the first ever electric go-karting track in Scotland, karts can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour. Awarded five stars by VisitScotland, the Experience has more than just karting to offer though. It is also home to a laser tag arena, a 140ft slot car track and boasts a lounge made up from the fuselage of a Boeing 737 aeroplane.
Price: go-karting from £15
Situated just off the M8 at Hillington Park near Glasgow, The Experience is a social enterprise developed by Kibble, a charity which helps young people to improve their lives by providing employment opportunities.
2. Canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding at Bridge 8 Hub
Canal boats don’t have to be slow! Bridge 8 Hub is Scotland’s first canal-based outdoor activity centre and has brought adrenaline to the waterways in south-west Edinburgh. On offer is a mix of activities including canoeing, kayaking, raft-building, fatyaking, akwakating. There is something for everyone with taster sessions for the unexperienced to more adventurous trips, team building and stag and hen party packages. If you prefer dry land Bridge 8 Hub also offers archery, mountain biking and a climbing tower.
Price: canoe, kayak and stand-up paddle boarding from £10
Bridge 8 Hub is a social enterprise situated just 20 minutes from Edinburgh city centre. Its fundamental principle is to ensure that anyone wishing to access the outdoors has the opportunity to do so.
3. Powerboating at Port Edgar Waersports
If you prefer your adventures on the water to be engine-powered, why not try a powerboating course and let yourself feel like Daniel Craig as James Bond! Port Edgar Watersports in the Firth of Forth use both 6.3 metre and 5.5 metre rigid-inflatable boats (RIB) to teach you how to manoeuvre and handle a boat and become an instructor yourself. They even have classes at night time to let you try it in the dark. If you do fancy something a little more gentle however Port Edgar Watersports also offers sailing, sea kayaking, and canoeing. There are fun activities and courses available for children and adults, and it can cater for birthday parties, stag and hen days, and corporate activities.
Price: powerboat courses from £100
Port Edgar Watersports is a social enterprise which is passionate about offering watersports opportunities to everyone and uses profits to upgrade equipment and fund opportunities for people with physical and learning disabilities. It also has a particular interest in providing opportunities for people who are involved in the care system in Scotland.
4. Skateboarding, bmx, scooters and skating @ The Factory Skatepark
Do you know a bigspin from a daffy? If the answer is yes, then the Factory Skatepark in Dundee is for you. The UK’s first custom-built indoor skatepark the factory offers ramps and rails for those who love skateboarding, scooters, inline skating and bmx. Sessions last two hours and all equipment can be hired. As well as a safe place to try out new tricks the skatepark also hosts regular competitions featuring some breathtaking, spectacular skills. It also has a café and can host private sessions and there is a cinema nearby if you want to leave the skate fan in your life to it for a couple of hours.
Price: from £3.50 per session
Situated in the Douglas and Angus area of Dundee, the Factory Skatepark is a social enterprise which runs a youth club and works with young people within its community. It has previously been named Scotland’s Social Enterprise of the Year.
5. Climbing, gorge walking, coastering and canyoning at MY Adventure
Thrill-seekers look no further. If you don’t get a rush by one of the activities run by MY Adventure then nothing will ever satisfy you. As well as mountain biking, hill walking, archery, abseiling and indoor and outdoor climbing, the Edinburgh based outdoor activity centre also offers coasteering, gorge walking and canyoning. For those uninitiated coasteering is a combination of rock hopping, wildlife spotting, sea swimming, body surfing and cliff jumping; while canyoning and gorge walking combine 70 foot abseils, jumping off waterfalls and climbing through amazing rock formations, and are two of the most exhilarating and ore inspiring adventurous activities that Scotland has to offer.
Price: packages from £12.50 per person.
Based in Edinburgh, although some activities are held outside the city, My Adventure is the social enterprise trading company of Muirhouse Youth Development Group.
6. Skiing at Lowther Hills Ski Club
It might be summer now but one of the best things when winter comes is being able to hit the slopes! Whether you are a skier, snowboarder or sledger you will be made welcome at Lowther Hills Ski Club. It is the only community-owned ski centre in the whole of Scotland and also the only ski centre in operation in the south of Scotland. Whether you are a first time skier or a seasoned snowsports enthusiast, there will be something for you with nursery and intermediate slopes. Membership is needed to use the club’s ski tows and clubhouse but it is open to all. The slopes are maintained by volunteers and offer around 20 days skiing per year, and while you don’t have to, they’d be delighted if you fancy pitching in to help out and make friends in the process.
Prices: under 18s £22, adults £39, families £66.
Founded in 1986, Lowther Hills Ski Club is situated at Wanlockhead and Leadhills. It is a community-owned social enterprise which aims to promote winter sports and volunteer opportunities to everyone.
7. Aerial gymnastics at Adventure Circus
Ever watched gymnastics in the Olympics and thought “I could do that”? Now is your chance to prove it at Adventure Circus, an aerial, gymnastic and fitness club in Perth for people who like to do things a little differently. Whatever your level of experience, it offers three adult classes a week, two kids classes on a Saturday. It also has open training for regular students, and frequently runs taster sessions for those who have never done circus but want to try it out. Run by experienced aerialists Gemma Simpson and Stephen Armour they offer four aerial disciplines – rope (corde lisse), hoop (lyra), silks (tissue/fabric) and static trapeze. So if you think you have a head for heights and fancy trying something new check out all the options available on the pair’s website.
Price: single classes from £10.50.
Situated in its own circus space in North Muirton, Adventure Circus is a social enterprise offering circus skills to people of all ages, in turn helping them improve their fitness, strength and stamina. It also delivers outreach work during festivals.