Climbing provides some light in the dark for many who are suffering from depression, anxiety, grief and other mental health illnesses. This charity aims to spread the joy of climbing far and wide. It’s not a cure but climbing is proven to be a particularly effective distraction and positive personal and social stimulus. Focussing on something enjoyable and all-encompassing can provide relief from the pain and anxiety that so many people experience. Climbing Out of Depression aims to reach individuals in need of support and introduce to them an activity that reaps reward and personal accomplishment, creates structure, teaches new skills and team work and provides relief and distraction.

Meet the Team

Belinda Fuller – Founder and Operations Manager

Belinda has been climbing since she could walk; from trees to 100 meter cliffs to national climbing competitions, she made a career from the sport in coaching, becoming one of the GB coaching team in 2017. 

Having spent the last 8 years running her own coaching business, Be Climbing, last year she opened a bouldering wall called Volume 1 Climbing. 

Belinda will be responsible for ensuring that the standard of instruction for the charity is appropriate for the individuals involved, as well as fundraising and building awareness among the climbing community. 

Note from Belinda-

“ I am so excited to start helping people who could really benefit from having climbing in their lives. I have countless first hand experience of its benefits to ones mental health with evidence from many clients on how much it has changed their lives for the better. 

Climbing has made me who I am today and there is nothing I love more than sharing its vast benefits with the world. “

Patricia Kemp – Trustee and Finance Officer

Mother to Katie Kemp. Skills include preparation and delivery of Accounts following a previous career in accountancy at CDC Group Plc. Planning and organisation of charity board meetings and minutes and implementation of organisational structures, procedures and safeguards. 

Note from Patricia- 

“It’s with great love in my heart that we move forward with this amazing venture. It is not only a wonderful tribute to my daughter Katie but something that she would have loved to have been a part of. Climbing was her joy and I am sure that along with the amazing volunteers involved in bringing this charity to life, we can bring that joy to many people struggling with mental health problems over many years to come.”

Kate Jackson – Chair

Kate leads Corporate Development for an on-line mental health therapy provider. Previously a management consultant with over 18 years experience leading large transformation programmes, predominantly in healthcare. Kate also spent 3 years as Chair of the charity Wandsworth Women’s Aid, providing refuges for women and children fleeing domestic abuse. Kate started climbing following the death of her husband and has lived experience of the benefits of climbing in relieving her subsequent grief and depression.

Note from Kate-

“Climbing has been a huge help to me through some very dark times. When you’re climbing you really are living in the moment and all your problems are kept at bay. I also love the climbing community. As a beginner I was blown away by the friendliness, support and desire to share this amazing sport with others and by the positivity and encouragement you receive, even when you are struggling on the easiest of climbs! I’m thrilled that we can help others to access this fantastic sport and the many benefits it brings.”

Laura Whitticase – Designated Safeguarding Officer and Data Protection Officer

Laura leads strategy, organisational development, impact, research and policy for the Barbican Arts Centre. She works best through lively collaboration and learning how people tick to overcome organisational barriers and develop the scope and impact of the organisation’s work. As well as working for the Barbican, Laura is a non-executive Director for British Underground – a UK music development agency supporting bands and artists to grow their careers. She was also founding Trustee and Chair of charity Sour Lemons, which supports young people from diverse backgrounds to make their way in the creative sector. Sour Lemons gained charitable status during her tenure. Laura will support the charity with safeguarding and data protection as well as with its overall development – along with the other Trustees – to ensure it finds its feet and keeps on climbing!

Note from Laura-

“It is a huge privilege to be part of the Climbing Out of Depression family. I know how important climbing was to Katie and I’m sure she will be proud to see how the charity set up in her honour will help provide others with the opportunity to bring climbing into their lives. As a beginner climber, I have been amazed at how it manages to lift you out of your head and at the confidence it gives you to overcome personal challenges. I can’t wait to see what’s next for the charity!”