Ski 2 Freedom Foundation, (a registered charity Number: 1151307), was created in 2007. It has now established itself as a major portal providing comprehensive information on snow-sport and mountain activities globally, meeting the specific needs and requirements, of young people and adults whose lives are affected by physical, sensory, mental disability, special need (learning,speech & communication) life-challenging illness, mental health, trauma so that they, carers and family can regain self-confidence, become physically pro-active leading to a general sense of inclusion both within a family, local community and wider society environment and the possibility of equal employment opportunities It is registered in the England as a company limited by guarantee. The Foundation is currently applying for UK charity status.
Ski 2 Freedom was the idea of Catherine Cosby. Her daughter Alexandra, now aged 28 has a rare neurological disorder known as Rett Syndrome and is profoundly physically and mentally disabled. "Alexandra and the many people we met in hospitals, in particular the Bristol Children's Hospital, have been so much the inspiration for Ski 2 Freedom. Now happily residing at Douglas House Leonard Cheshire Home she continues to inspire and give strength to this project. Sadly Alexandra has not yet been able to experience the snowy mountains but her strength of character is, I am sure, there with all those children that are able to undertake disabled skiing. It is Alexandra’s incredible strength and courage during the course of what can only be described as a truly remarkable life, which was such an inspiration."
Catherine’s own experiences have given her a passionate understanding about using snow-sports and the mountains as a catalyst which can help children, young people and adults who have been affected by a physical, sensory or mental disability to regain self-confidence, become physically pro-active leading to a general sense of inclusion both within a family, local community and wider society environment and the possibility of equal employment opportunities. She understands the many complex needs and requirements of an individual with a disability, or special need and why matching those needs with a ski school instructor and resort is so vital to the overall outcome of a holiday.
Using snow-sports and the mountains as a catalyst for building self-confidence, rehabilitation, recreational or therapeutic purposes saw the birth of this unique organisation.
To promote for the benefit of people with disabilities, special needs and life challenging conditions, and their families the provision of facilities and information for recreation or other leisure time occupation, in particular through the provision of snow-sport activities, in the interests of social welfare and with the object of improving the condition of life.
Provide, in answer to enquiries from disabled and/or special needs people, or their dependents, family, friends or care workers, specific information relating to winter sport and mountain activities and locations
Carry out specific research on ski resorts and mountain areas to enhance our database of information – meeting and collaborating closely with tourist offices, adapted accommodation providers, accessible transport and other facilities required to meet the needs of disabled and special needs children and adults
Meet regularly and work in close collaboration with ski schools, winter sport facilitators to ensure we have a deep and intimate understanding and knowledge of the instruction, opportunities and activities which they can provide for all disabilities, special needs and life-challenging illness.
Meet and work with specialist ski equipment facilitators so that we can ensure we have the information necessary to pass on to all those with a disability, special need or life-challenging illness for their use on the mountain or to access winter sport activities
Regularly attend events, conferences etc. with like-minded organisations, charities and facilitators to exchange and collect information to ensure we can provide up to date and informed information on services available to every child and adult regardless of disability, special need or life-challenging illness
Widely promote our activities, objectives and aims via the use of internet, social media and other well known sources of media publicity to raise awareness of the benefits and social interaction and inclusion to be gained from winter and mountain activities
Promote and enhance the winter and mountain sporting activities of other charities and organisations via the use of our unique information service to ensure wider benefits to all disabled, special needs and life challenging illness sectors of society worldwide.
Use our Directory of Information and beneficiary feedback and comments to target disability and special needs charities and organisations so that their members and beneficiaries have a better understanding of winter and mountain activities and the life changing benefits that can be achieved
On request from specific groups of disabilities, special needs or life-challenging illnesses we undertake to provide specific information or sign-post to relevant winter sport charities/organisations to ensure they can take advantage of winter and mountain activities
Raise funds through networking, Friends of Ski 2 Freedom, and general awareness of the activities undertaken by Ski 2 Freedom
Arrange and facilitate on request fact-finding missions requested by different winter sport and charitable organisations to that they have a better understanding of these specific activities
Working on global projects which ensure that we reach a worldwide audience of disabled and special needs people using our unique Information Resource
Consultancy and Intermediary : i.e. helping to provide support and evidence to justify and substantiate a disabled person’s right to continue to work in winter sports and mountain activities (provided by our network of contacts within the winter sport industry worldwide)
Using our unique Information Resource on a daily basis to help other charities winter and non-winter sport related to substantially enhance their aims and objectives and thereby ensuring disabled and special needs children and adults have access to such activities
Working to ensure that young carers and those disadvantaged by circumstances of background and lack of financial support worldwide are able to have the same advantages of others – we feel that these groups, although not having a medical disability or special need are in fact “disabled” by circumstance and have the same right to winter sports.
The public benefit provided by Ski 2 Freedom is a widely available source of free information enabling people with physical disabilities or other special needs and their families to enjoy the physical and affective benefits of mountain activities. This is in line with Equality Legislation, healthy life style promotion, and enables better intergration into society and consequently less dependence on the public purse.
Education raises awareness (mountains and activities)
Facilitating everyone to participate on an equal basis (mountain and sporting activities)
Ensuring that people with a disability or impairment have access to sporting and recreational activities (explanation through the assessments and information gathering)
Possible rehabilitation (self-awareness, self-confidence, new-lease of life, new-challenges)
Opportunities for employment and volunteering (non-exclusive)
Consideration given to every individual and group regardless of nationality, social or ethnic background, disability, sex and geographical location.
Ski 2 Freedom Foundation acknowledges that mountain activities can be dangerous and that all clients and groups that we work with are made aware of such.