Chair of Trustees
I was appointed as a Trustee in Feb 2010 and have now the privilege of
supporting IOL in becoming the Chair of the Trustee Board. I started
working in the outdoors when I was a 16yr old apprentice and now 30
years later I have the privilege of continuing to enable people to
engage with the outdoor environment. Through this journey in the
outdoors I have overseen the development of Releasing Potential which is
an education charity that comprises of an Independent Special School,
Academic Institute and Forest Schools amongst its interests. I became a
trustee as I believe that interaction (in any form) with the outdoors is
a positive vehicle for change in people’s lives, enabling them to
understand who they are and what they can become.
I look forward to serving the Institute, meeting members of the
organisation and helping to develop relationships that supports a
positive interaction with the outdoors for the whole of society.
I was honoured to be appointed to the Board in March 2018 as a Trustee.
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 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 am passionate about outdoor learning and have spent my whole career
dedicated to delivering and providing outdoor learning opportunities for
children and young people. I have a B.Ed. (Hons) degree in Outdoor
Education and a Post Grad. certificate in Youth Work. I am also
qualified as an Advanced Skills Teacher in Outdoor Education. I am
currently the Outdoor Learning Service manager for Surrey Outdoor
Learning and Development (SOLD) – Surrey County Council’s outdoor
learning service. I am a huge supporter of the national outdoor learning
networks, an active member of the Association for Heads of Outdoor
Education Centres (AHOEC) and a trustee for the Council for Learning
Outside the Classroom (LOtC). I am also the vice-chair of the Outdoor
Council and a member of the AHOEC GOLD standard management group.
Growing up in and having a heritage in the outdoors meant it was
inevitable I would continue along that path albeit with various
dispersions into other sectors such as engineering and food manufacture.
From working in outdoor centres, local authorities, commercial and third
sector environments, I now specialise in Leader, Instructor and Coach
education, leading on mountain biking and integrating the Outdoors
Sector within the NGB context through my role at British Cycling. My
motivations in the outdoors started with groups returning from my
activities saying ‘that was brilliant’ and ‘when can we do that again?’.
These still apply although I now want participants to say it to the
leaders and instructors that have benefitted from the training and
provision I have been able to influence. I am keen to enable engagement
in the outdoors across society and to help in being part of IOL’s
increasing support in transforming lives.
I have worked in environmental education for many years and in education
for even longer as a trained teacher. During this time I have developed
a passion for learning and the benefits of developing connection with
the natural environment, strongly believing that learning experiences in
contexts outside the classroom make significant and long lasting
In my current role as Head of Engagement with the Peak
District National Park, I am involved in working with the education and
outreach teams across all 15 of the UK’s National Parks to deliver the
commitment for every young person to have a National Park experience
during their school years.