Southern Region IOL Networking Event
An evening networking event on 4th April in Portsmouth - report and photos
On the evening of the 4th April Southern Region IOL held an informal networking event at the Andrew Simpson Outdoor Centre in Portsmouth.
The event attracted 25 local members from education, outdoor centres, bushcraft providers, volunteers, DofE coordinators, RYA region development, South Downs National Park, and county Outdoor Advisor.
Following a buffet provided by Cobnar Outdoor Centre, participants were suitably fuelled to join the more formal part of the evening. This started with a welcome by Gary Palmer from the Regional committee, and an introduction by the southern region Chair, James Dyer.
Nathen Stanley (head of the Andrew Simpson Centre) along with 2 of his young instructors then delivered a great presentation, focussed on the foundations work, the challenges they faced and how they were dealing with them. This was followed by a session on regional updates, where participants were brought up to date on local and national initiatives, and issues that affect them locally, representatives of the Outdoor Education Advisers Panel and the RYA also provided updates.
After a discussion around these updates, the group participated in a short session where they endeavoured to outline the challenges faced by members and what support is required to help deliver high quality outdoor learning. They discussed financial challenges, challenges with getting schools to recognise outdoor learning and pressures of delivering outdoor learning opportunities.
This session closed with participants outlining innovative solutions for dealing with these challenges and what the members wanted to see from their membership of the IOL.
A healthy discussion followed during an open networking session as members chatted and mingled whilst finishing off the buffet.
The general feeling was that this was a useful evening for members, a chance to meet likeminded people and organisations, gain updates and receive some valuable information.
The Regional committee will be collating the information from the evening and using this to develop on going plans to support members in the region and will be delivering a second free event on the 14th May at Bewl Water Outdoor Centre in the east of the region. Register your place at this second event here.
James Dyer, SRIOL Chair