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Sector Strategic Forum

Continuing Conversations

Sector Strategic Forum

Held on the 3rd October 2019 at IBIS Birmingham 10:00 – 16:00pm


The need for impactful and co-ordinated development of the Outdoor Learning sector has never been greater. Building on UK Outdoor Learning’s 2018 conference this forum will provide opportunities to both update yourself and your organisation on the latest developments and for you to Influence the future shape of the sector and its services. We will not promise a peaceful and reflective day as we need to challenge and inspire each other to continue the development of this sector!


Core Sessions

Safety, Inspection and Licensing Post AALA

In November 2018 the Minister of State for disabled people, Sarah Newton MP, confirmed her support for the HSE Board’s decision to pursue Option 3 - removal of the AALR regulations and move to an industry-led, non-statutory, not- for-profit scheme underpinned by the Health and Safety at work etc. Act 1974, to provide assurance to users of outdoor activities.

Career Pathways, Workforce Training and Apprenticeships

The past 12 months has seen some significant developments for the outdoor workforce, including publication of an outdoor professional profile and approval of a NEW Outdoor Activity Instructor Apprenticeship. Current work includes mapping outdoor career opportunities, developing occupational standards for new job roles, and establishing pathways for Chartered professional status.

Changing the Impact of Outdoor Learning through Research

Regional Outdoor Learning Research Hubs draw together past and present research, as well as identify current and future research needs of practitioners in Outdoor Learning. They enable a more integrated approach to research and practice at a local level. The Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning is a peer reviewed journal, with an international review board, which aims to promote dialogue, research, thinking, teaching and practice from critical perspectives in the fields of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning.

Reinvigorating Youth Work in the Outdoors

The issues of health, wellbeing and personal development amongst young people remain key for UK society. In May 2019 the Education Secretary Damian Hines MP announced a Character Panel to explore best ways for young people to build character and resilience. In 2018 the YMCA was quoted in the APPG Youthwork Enquiry report, “many young people are now missing out on opportunities outside the school setting to engage in positive activities that support their learning and development, opportunities previous generations took for granted”.


Sector Strategic Forum Programme


Dom Ferris - Surfers Against Sewage presented at the Sector Strategic Forum


Dom Ferris - Surfers Against Sewage

Dom is in the blue/green t-shirt in the photo.


Dom has been with SAS for almost 10 years, moving up in the charity from Campaign Officer to the role of Head of Community and Engagement. During this time he was responsible for the grass roots growth of their Beach Clean, Regional Reps, Community Events and Education programmes from just a handful of activations in 2009 to almost 2000 beach cleans, 175 Reps, 1500 schools and upwards of 100,000 engaged and empowered community volunteers of all ages and backgrounds (and even project managing two ocean plastic awareness events on behalf of TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall in 2015 and 2018).

In August 2018 Dom took a 6 month sabbatical for a 50/50 split of reasons! Those being a huge thirst for an epic adventure and the realisation that he needed to take some time away due to challenges with anxiety and depression. So, he packed his mountain bike and headed out on a series of backcountry MTB expeditions that saw him bike over 2000km (and up over 200,000ft of vertical ascent) in the mountains of Oregon, Washington, Tibet and Nepal, raising £2764 for the men’s mental health charity CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably) and along the way.

He is also the founder and director of Trash Free Trails, a community led movement dedicated to empowering people to protect their trails and wild places and during his time away he came to the firm realisation that he needed to dedicate more of his time to increase the reach and impact of Trash Free Trails.

Upon his return to SAS Dom was delighted to be offered the opportunity to become the Education Programme Manager for Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). This was a wonderful opportunity that enabled him to work on and develop the area of SAS work that he is most passionate about but also to have the freedom and energy to work on Trash Free Trails in his spare time.


Dr Jodie Blackadder-Weinstein - British Society of Lifestyle Medicine presented at the Sector Strategic Forum


Dr Jodie Blackadder-Weinstein is a GP in the Royal Air Force, Academy Doctor for Birmingham City and is Education Lead for British Society Lifestyle Medicine.She is currently undertaking research on behavioural change. Jodie has experienced first-hand the benefits of outdoor learning through her military training, and has incorporated it into her own team development.

The presentation will offer a lifestyle medicine perspective on the benefits of active engagement in outdoor environments and call on the sector to further develop its approachtosupporting the health and wellbeing of the country.

The presentation will be followed by questions and group debate about issues raised. A strategic forum prior tothe talk will introduce the new IOL Statement of Good Practice forOutdoor Mental Health Interventionsand give space for discussion and input into consultations.

Dr Jodie Blackadder-Weinstein - British Society of Lifestyle Medicine


Presentations from the Sector Strategic Forum


Keynote - Dom Ferris - Surfers Aginst Sewage


Keynote - Dr Jodie Blackadder-Weinstein  - BSLM


OLSC - Workforce


OLSC Awards





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