About Us

RECONNECTING PEOPLE AND NATURE

Outdoors For You was founded in 2018 by people who share a passion for Scotland’s fantastic outdoors – and a belief in nature and active lifestyle ability to help humans to heal and to improve mental and physical wellbeing.

We started off as a non-profit organisation, company number SC608815. We awarded SCIO Charity status SC051780 from the 9th of June 2022.

Our service for all community groups, from the local to the asylum seekers, refugees, and EU migrants. The Outdoors For You team knows from our own experiences that reintroducing people to the great outdoors, even for a few short hours, can bestow huge benefits – helping us to feel fitter, happier and more alerts – and more able to assess and address our own issues.

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BENEFITS OF THE OUTDOORS

The evidence of the benefits of nature on mental and physical health is
numerous. If you spend just 90 minutes of your day outside in a wooded area, there will be a decrease of activity in the part of your brain typically associated with depression. Spending time in nature not only reduces blood pressure, anxiety, and increases happiness, but it reduces aggression, ADHD symptoms, improves pain control, the immune system, and—per a summary of research regarding the health benefits of nature—there's much more we don't know and are figuring out every day.

A MESSAGE FROM OUR FOUNDER

"I was born and raised in Kurdistan. We are a mountain people, and nature and the outdoors have always been a big part of my life. When I was growing up there was war, and the mountains also represented safety and shelter. Since I arrived in Scotland my love for nature and the outdoors has just grown and grown. Now, a walk in the mountains or the forest is for fun and to enjoy the beautiful wildlife. Nature is also so therapeutic for me. It helps me to find peace and improves my general welling. It was these feelings that led me to set up Outdoors For You. I want to help others to rediscover the peace and tranquillity that comes from our connection with nature”
Razgar Hassan, Chief Executive, Outdoors For you

MEET OUR TEAM

Our amazing team comes from an array of backgrounds, skills and even countries
to form the weath of knowledge and passion that powers Outdoors For You.

Razgar

RAZGAR HASSAN

Founder - Chief Executive

Born in Kurdistan, Razgar arrived in Glasgow almost twenty years ago and is now a British citizen. He has a background working with minority ethnic groups and in social housing. He is also qualified to B.A. level in Education and Psychology.

Razgar has a lifelong passion for the outdoors and for yoga, meditation, hiking, walking and running. In 2017 he brought together his professional and academic background and his love for the outdoors when he set up Outdoors For You.

Maria

MARIA NYGREN

Co-Founder - Project Manager

Maria was born in Sweden and has lived in Scotland for eleven years. MA, MSC in
pharmacy, she loves the Scottish hills and takes every opportunity to enjoy the
outdoors by walking, running or maybe even skiing which has been a passion since a young age. She has also an interest in personal wellbeing and meditation.

At Outdoors For You, Maria coordinates the various tours and personally takes part in
most of our walks.

Katie

KATIE BIGGART

Activity Co-Ordinator

Katie has recently joined the team as activity coordinator. She first met Outdoors For You in 2021, to collaborate on a masters research project exploring integration through the outdoors. Her work background is in adult nursing, with experience volunteering for different charities working with refugees and asylum seekers. 

Katie is passionate about reducing health inequalities, and believes that in Scotland accessing the outdoors is one way to do this. In her free time, you will find her up a hill, in the water or getting muddy somewhere outside! 

Paula

PAULA PHONENIX

Sign Language Interpreter

Paula is a qualified registered Sign Language Interpreter awarded with a PGD in Sign Language Interpreting Studies and Skills from Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh and NVQ Level 6 in BSL/Interpreting.

Besides her work for Outdoors For You, she developed and runs The Butterfly Project, which offers unique Self-Development programmes to the Deaf community.

Twig

ALEXANDER "TWIG" CHAMPION

Walking Artist

Champion is a Walking Artist - using walking tours to heighten or awaken experiences. He has led numerous walking tours, including: Sculpture Garden Tour, House for an Art
Lover, Art Walk Potry, ArtWalk Porty Festival, Glasgow Open House Art Tour and Meditative Sculpture Walks, Edinburgh

Stuart

Stuart Radose

Trustee

Stuart is passionate about community development and holds a 1st Class Hons from the University of Glasgow in Community Development.

Since arriving in Glasgow in 2028, Stuart has worked on various community projects that support individuals from marginalised communities to access services that improve physical and mental health, tackle food inequality and reduce social isolation. Stuart was recently appointed CEO of Community InfoSource which works with marginalised communities in Glasgow, primarily with asylum seekers and refugees, to put their ideas into action and to secure their rights.

Stuart previously worked for the John Lewis Partnership in food retail for fifteen years, gaining leadership experience managing various teams and projects.

Stuart is excited to be appointed to the board of Outdoors For You and to contribute to the future success of this important service that positively impacts the lives of so many people who access its services.

Jean - New

JANE PENNINGTON

Eco Therapy Team

Jane is an experienced counselor who is passionate about nature and being outdoors.

They have worked for many years with marginalised people including asylum seekers and refugees and survivors of violence and they currently work in private practice and as a volunteer counselor for a LGBT community organisation.

Mahmoud

MAHMUD AL-GAILANI

Chairperson

Mahmud is qualified in Community Education and Person Centred Counselling.

He works with a range of diverse communities in relation to equality issues and mental wellbeing and is one of the founding members of the Edinburgh ALMA project, an Art Therapy Charity that supports people living in Edinburgh and the Lothians.

Charles

CHARLES GICHAGO

Treasurer

Charles holds an MA(SocSci) Business and Management with Honours from the University of Glasgow. He has also worked within the Third Sector mostly with Refugees and Asylum seekers for over 8 years.