Chair of Trustees
I am a qualified teacher and have worked as an outdoor instructor in public, private and 3rd sector Centres in both the UK and aboard. I have been head of centre at Calvert Trust (Lake District) and Outward Bound (Ullswater and Howtown). I also hold a number of high-level outdoor qualifications but my main field of interest the inclusion of those with disabilities into outdoor learning opportunities, a field in which I have completed a PhD and work as a consultant. I have written a number of book chapters and articles on this topic.
I became a trustee as I had gained much from the being a member of IOL (and its preceding guises) benefitting greatly from the work and experience of others. I now felt I should contribute what I could for the future of outdoor leaning and to the benefit of members.
I’ve been an IOL Trustee for about 9 years to date and have held the roles of Chair and Vice Chair previously. I have worked in the Outdoors for around 35 years as a climbing instructor and running outdoor centres so becoming involved with IOL seemed a chance to help shape and develop our world a bit. I’m currently based at Castleton in the Peak District running Losehill Hall for the Youth Hostels Association. I’ve been very fortunate in that this role has given research and travel opportunities around the UK, Europe and beyond over the years.
I was honoured to be co-opted as a Trustee in May 2017. I have been enjoying the outdoors since escaping inner-city Cardiff in the late 70s with the Scouts, canoeing in the Lakes with Lancaster University, and 25 years of walking and cycling all over the UK, Europe and more exotic locations including Sri Lanka, Kyrgyzstan and China – interspersed with teaching science and 25 years working for PGL. The Outdoors can be transformational – not least for those of us who grow and develop through working in it. My passion these days is for working to ensure that the outdoor workforce has access to fit-for-purpose training and assessment programmes that can stand shoulder to shoulder with other better understood sectors. This is hugely interesting time for IOL and I look forward to working with the Trustee team and Executive.
I was appointed as a Trustee in Feb 2010. I am currently the CEO of Releasing Potential. I started working in the outdoors when I was a 16yr old apprentice and now 28 years later I have the privilege of continuing to enable people to engage with the outdoor environment. I became a trustee as I believe that interaction (in any form) with the outdoors is a positive vehicle for change which can change lives, enabling people to understand who they are and what they can become.
I was appointed as an IOL Trustee in March 2007. I am currently a Director for Mere Mountains/JEM Training, a mobile outdoor learning provider based in the Lake District delivering programmes for Schools, YHA, NCS, Prince's Trust and recreational outdoor activities for private individuals and groups. I am also Head of Centre for Humphrey Head OEC on the edge of the Lake District. Director of training for Casualty Care First Aid Training and IOL Horizons Editor. I have always been on the Outdoor Learning sector. I started instructing as a young leader age 14 teaching sailing and kayaking. Going on to be a science teacher for a few years before returning to running full time outdoor learning provision - with a bit of time off for having kids. I became an IOL Trustees because I wanted to make the outdoor learning field a fairer, more inclusive place for all kinds of providers and felt that there was no one voicing the needs of small private providers and non-residential outdoor provision.
I was appointed as a Trustee in Feb 2010. I am currently semi-retired after a 27year career in the Outdoor Learning sector, I now occasionally do some work for the University of Derby. I was honoured to be invited to consider becoming a trustee having been involved with forming the Peak Region of IOL and initiating some of the professional accreditation processes in that region. After attending a couple of trustee meetings as a guest I was pleased to be voted in as a Trustee. My interest area has always been how people learn, and developing opportunities for people to learn. I endeavour to make this possible at both a personal and strategic levels through my involvement with IOL..
I was appointed as an IOL Trustee in March 2017, I am currently Head of Geography at AKS School, Lytham St Anne’s. I don’t really remember a time before spending time in the outdoors, but professionally I been in the Outdoor Learning sector since 1997; first as an outdoor instructor, then as a geography teacher trying to spend as much time outdoors, where the learning is enhanced. As a teacher for the last 16 years, I am keen to ensure that the myriad of outdoor learning opportunities that take place in countless schools are represented and supported both in and through the IOL.
It was a privilege to be co-opted as a IOL trustee in 2018. I’ve been working in the outdoors since volunteering at my local Scout site at the age of 15. Having got the bug for being in nature and sharing adventures and I went on to do one season in an instructor role. Many years later, in what must surely be the longest season ever, I now work in the voluntary sector for the Scouts looking after Scout Adventures.
I’ve joined the trustees of IOL as I think the voluntary sector plays an important role in both enabling young people to have truly life changing experiences outdoors well as providing a great route into becoming a practitioner either as a volunteer or in a paid position.
It’s an exciting time to be part of IOL and I look forward to working with the team to bring our aspirations to life whilst making sure we also represent the vast voluntary sector that contributes so much to young people getting outside.
I have worked for 37 years in the field of learning outside the classroom with the last 25 years as the Chief Executive of the Field Studies Council. I actively support the gathering and dissemination of research on learning outside the classroom (LOtC) and have been involved in lobbying for the place of LOtC in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. I have been a past member of SEC; SEAC; SCAA; NCC and ACAC committees on geography and environmental education and have assisted in establishing residential and day field centres in Hungary and Slovakia. Similarly, I have helped to develop partnerships to share good practice in learning outside the classroom in China; Japan; Singapore; India; Slovenia and Poland. I recognise the importance of ensuring a varied entitlement of LOtC experiences for ALL children and students throughout their formal education.