Shropshire’s Kelda Wood, who runs the charity Climbing Out to help young people who have been through life changing mental or physical trauma, has been awarded the MBE in the New Years Honours List.
An accident in 2002 left Kelda with a leg injury that ended her dreams of becoming an Olympic horse rider. After rebuilding her confidence, she retrained as an outdoor instructor. In 2010 she launched Climbing Out, a 5-day outdoor activity programme offering funded places to enable participants to rebuild their confidence, self-esteem and motivation.
Kelda has represented Great Britain as a member of the GB Paracanoe squad and was selected as a member of the Adaptive Grand Slam Team climbing Aconcagua, the highest peak in South America. In January 2017 she became the first recorded adaptive female to summit the mountain.
In December 2018, Kelda set off to row solo across the Atlantic with the aim of inspiring others, raising awareness about mental and physical trauma, and raising funds for Climbing Out. Each day she rowed for a different young person, saying, “It was never about me, I wanted to reach people.”
Seventy-six days later, Kelda had rowed 3,500 nautical miles, becoming the first para-rower to solo row the Atlantic. She raised over £50,000 for Climbing Out in the process. Her charity’s motto is, ‘It’s not about saying I can’t, it’s about saying how can I?’
For more information visit climbingout.org.uk
PHOTO: Kelda Wood