How climbing helps people with traumatic brain injuries find their feet

Extreme sports perhaps wouldn’t be your first port of call when rehabilitating a traumatic brain injury (TBI), but then Sophie Charles isn’t the kind of person to let a little matter of height, exposure and intricate rope work dampen her enthusiasm for evangelising the therapeutic benefits of rock climbing for anyone, especially those living with specific neurological challenges. Together with the Castle Climbing Centre in London she, an experienced rock-climbing instructor, has crafted a series of sessions aimed at anyone who struggles with the activities of daily living many of us take for granted. “I love climbing because everyone can do it,” she says.”‘And what I like about getting other people into climbing – especially people who have physical and mental challenges – is showing them what they can do. I simply don’t like the word can’t,- and a lot of people with disabilities hear that word frequently.”
The sessions, which begin on 23 October, will run twice a month, with a maximum of four people per session and cost £30 a person for one-and-a-half hours’ instruction. There’s also the opportunity to progress to one-on-one customised “fun and therapy” sessions, combining climbing with input from a personal trainer and chiropractor.