1. Home
  2. Members
  3. Jobs
  4. Events
  5. Good Practice
  6. Awards
  7. News
  8. Help

IOL Adventure for All PPG

IOL Adventure for All PPG Home Page

About the Adventure For All Professional Practice Group


The Adventure for All (AfA) PPG was formed through the joining of the independent organisation “Adventure for All” with IOL. The members of AfA are either specialist providers of outdoor leaning for people with disabilities or those with a significant interest in this field. The main activity of the group is an annual conference, usually held at one of the specialist provider centres, where new ideas are shared and best practice is discussed.

To promote participation in adventurous activities and outdoor learning by people with disabilities and other special educational needs as well as to share ideas and agree best practice in the safe delivery of activities. This will be done through the PPG’s annual conference and discussion forums as well as presenting to others at conferences and through articles in Horizons. Representation or lobbying at NGB level will be made where appropriate.

  Join Now  

Adventure for All PPG Committee

Chair - Graeme Hill (Link4Life) - Email Graeme

Secretary/Treasurer - Nick Liley (Bendrigg Lodge)

Committee: John Crosbie, John Ford (Lake District Calvert Trust), Matt Hopkins (Lake District Calvert Trust), Lenny Black (Hindleap Warren)




The IOL Adventure for All Professional Practice Group is committed to shaping and developing good practice in safety, inclusion and participation in adventurous activities and outdoor learning by people with disabilities and other special educational needs.



IOL Accredited Training

Attend an IOL Adventure for All Professional Practice Group event and benefit from the experience, passion and collective wisdom of professionals in the field.

Climbing for All is a one day course providing an introduction to instructing disabled people in climbing. The course has now been delivered for over 11 years and was developed by Adventure for All and Mountain Training England and Association of Mountaineering Instructors.




Get in touch with the committee to get answers to your question no matter if it is big or small.


Adventure for All Events

Adventure for All News

IOL Adventure For All Group -  conference report

IOL Adventure For All Group - conference report

Report, photos and video

Adventure For All conference

As soon as I arrived at the IOL Adventure For All conference, I could feel the energy in the room. Outdoor professionals, with a real passion for providing inclusive outdoor activities for people with disabilities, coming together to learn from each other.

With people attending from all over the UK, some from specialist centres, others from mainstream (but inclusive) outdoor centres and others attending as individuals, it was great to see so many different people there, eager to learn. It was also useful this year to visit one of the specialist providers in inclusive outdoor activities, Calvert Trust Lakes.

Outdoor sector conferences often revolve around coffee and biscuit breaks which are a great chance for networking, and this event was no exception, but there were plenty of structured sessions throughout the weekend too.

We spent a good couple of hours in the climbing wall looking at hoists and adaptive harnesses. How to select the right harness for a climber and how best to fit them. It was great to see so many people getting hands-on, having a play with the kit. It was also really interesting to observe the level of detail that some people got into. I’ve delivered many climbing disability awareness training courses over the years, but it’s the adventure for all conference where you see people discussing the minutiae of where to place a particular strap or karabiner. Its these little details, that can really make a difference in ensuring somebody is comfortable, enabling them to enjoy and succeed in the activity.

We also got into the hydrotherapy pool in the evening. It provided a nice opportunity to ‘warm up’ and go for a swim, but the real purpose was to discuss water safety when working with people with disabilities. We had various people tipping out of boats, wearing various flotation devices, seeing how they ‘actually float!’ We also discussed the safety issues around strapping people into boats. Clearly there are risks with this, but it is often essential if some people are to access the activity (particularly those people with more complex physical impairments). What the workshop showed was how crucial it was to ensure that the right safety measures are in place and that the staff are appropriately trained and they know what they’re doing.

Moving and handling was another useful area of discussion during the conference. This is such an important issue for our specialist field. Not only is it about how we protect the participant whilst accessing the activities, it is also about supporting and protecting staff in what is an incredibly physically demanding job.

During the conference, we looked at hoisting techniques, how we used simple, non technical equipment such as lifting slings, we talked about guiding blind or visually impaired people and how to safely support wheelchair users on steep or rough terrain. We certainly managed to pack a lot in to an hour and a half session!

The weekend was purposefully delivered ‘informally’. No one is the ‘expert at everything’; all the presentations were delivered in a very collaborative way, drawing on the knowledge and experience of everyone in the room. This is what makes the AFA conference so special.

Whether people were new to the outdoor sector, or ‘old timers’, everyone was there to learn, but it proved to be more than that; people also got an increased drive and inspiration (apologies for using this overused word!), to go on and develop and improve their own practices. This was great to see - after all, the aim was to support the whole outdoor sector to become more inclusive.

Next year, we go south to Avon Tyrrell in Hampshire on 1st December. Look out for more information and bookings details in the autumn of 2023. We hope to see you there!

Nick Liley
Secretary to the IOL AFA group,
                                       Centre Director at the Bendrigg Trust

We'd like to share some photos of the Conference - below.

There is a video from the Conference available to view here on YouTube

6421 Rate this article:
No rating

Theme picker

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Adventure for All PPG?

The AfA PPG is a group of like-minded organisations and individuals who have a particular interest in including people with disabilities in outdoor learning.

Is membership of the AfA PPG for me?

If you are an organisation with a significant number of participants with disabilities, an individual with an interest in inclusion or wish to target this customer sector, then you are likely to benefit from membership and involvement with the group. In addition, people with disabilities and wider society are likely to benefit from your participation as your experience can contribute to the body of knowledge shared between us and others offering outdoor learning.

Which client groups are included in AfA PPG considerations?

Although the majority of the topics focus on those with physical, sensory or intellectual impairments, these are not exclusive. If special considerations are needed to assist someone participate in outdoor learning then the members are likely to have both an interest and some experience which may be able to help, as there are crossovers of teaching and learning between various impairment groups. Notable work in the past has focussed on those with autism, mental health issues, old age and chronically overweight participants.

What do I get from joining the AfA PPG?

The AfA PPG is a discussion forum where new ideas are scrutinised and best practice is shared. Although there are some e-discussions during the year the main event is the annual 2-day conference (invariably held at a specialist centre for those with disabilities). This is a low cost networking and sharing event where relationships are built so members have the confidence to pick up and ask colleagues for help or advice during the rest of the year.

Can I get specific advice about including those with disabilities from the AfA PPG?

The AfA PPG is a group of IOL member organisations and individuals, so any advice would be the opinion of that organisation or individual which may or may not be shared across the group. A number of the member organisations do offer disability inclusion advice, and it may be worth contacting these. Alternatively you could attend a conference with the specific agenda item for the whole group to discuss.



Warwick Mill Business Centre, Warwick Bridge, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA4 8RR

+44 (0)1228 564580



What we collect and why

Name, Email Address, Phone Number (optional). Only if you provide it to us in order to contact you or to use our services.

Your Privacy

Who we share with

We will never sell your personal data to 3rd parties. We may share your personal data with our suppliers in order to provide our online and member services to you.

Copyright 2023 Institute for Outdoor Learning Terms Of Use Privacy Statement
Back To Top