The founder of local charity, Climbing Out, is said to be honoured to have been chosen as a Batonbearer for the recent Queen’s Baton Relay in Shrewsbury. Kelda Wood MBE invited a number of people connected to Climbing Out to the civic welcome at Shrewsbury Castle on July 18.

Kelda was tasked with knocking on the impressive wooden doors at Shrewsbury Castle, to be welcomed in by Shrewsbury Town Crier Martin Wood, to the reception of High Sheriff Selina Graham, the Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire Anna Turner, Chairman of Shropshire Council Vince Hunt, and Mayor of Shrewsbury Elisabeth Roberts. Kelda was selected as one of the Batonbearers of the Shrewsbury leg of the Baton’s 294-day journey around every corner of the Commonwealth ahead of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The honour of being a Batonbearer is given to people with a unique and inspiring story, who have made a meaningful contribution to sport, arts or charity, are a figure of inspiration who positively challenge others to achieve their best, and have taken on a cause that has made a positive impact within their community.

As well as founding Climbing Out, Kelda has completed many sporting feats, including representing Great Britain as a member of the GB Paracanoe squad, being selected as a member of the Adaptive Grand Slam Team to climb Aconcagua – the highest peak in South America, and solo rowing across the Atlantic to inspire others, raising awareness about mental and physical trauma, and raise funds for Climbing Out.

Climbing Out has helped change the lives of hundreds of people since Kelda founded it in 2010. The charity mixes outdoor activities with mental resilience coaching to help people rebuild confidence, self-esteem and motivation following a mental or physical trauma.

The coaching they provide is designed to give gives participants the tools to manage themselves, helping them to deal with not just what’s happened in the past or what they are going through right now, but also any challenges they may face in the future.

“Carrying the Baton was a very proud moment, and fulfilled a childhood dream,” said Kelda.

“Due to my injury, any hope of competing in the games as an athlete was lost many years ago, so getting the chance to be part of the games as a Batonbearer meant the world to me, and I will cherish the experience forever.

“I’m grateful to supporters from Climbing Out for coming along to cheer me on. They aren’t the only ones who are on a journey, the experience of helping others to live their lives again provides me with so much as well. This moment was for them, as much as it was for me.”

A previous participant with the charity, Nichola Gristock, was invited by Kelda to attend the event at Shrewsbury Castle. Nichola was formerly in the military for 26 years. After being referred to Climbing Out, she took part in a workshop, attended a walk and talk day and a 5-day outdoor activity programme. She said, “When I was first referred to Climbing Out, I went in with the preconception, ‘I’ve heard this all before,’ but I was totally wrong. My journey with Climbing Out has been transformational, the impact it has had on my life was completely unexpected. I’m forever thankful to the charity for changing my life.

“Kelda’s work with me has helped me enormously, so now I try and support the charity as much as I can, as well as supporting Kelda on her journey too. It has been lovely to come and see this huge moment in person, and to support Kelda. It is wonderful that she was chosen for this honour.”

Another Climbing Out participant, Adie Ford, was also in attendance to cheer Kelda on. He said, “It was only last year that I attended my first outdoor programme with Climbing Out, and now I have become a military ambassador for the charity to help get the word out about the charity’s work. It has been great to cheer Kelda on as she carried the Baton. It’s a proud moment to be here, a great experience, and hopefully it helps more people find out about Climbing Out.”

For more information on Climbing Out’s work visit