We are a small, independently run company with two main passions: we love taking adults out on adventures all over the UK and abroad as well as working with schools and young people from all over the country to help them complete their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. We pride ourselves in giving a personal and bespoke service to ensure that your experience is the best it can be. The outdoors is for everyone to enjoy, so no matter what your experience or age, we want you to have a fantastic time with us. Whether we arrange a tailor-made adventure for you or you join one of our trips or expeditions below, we look forward to hearing from you.
Emma and Andy
MEET THE TEAM
Emma has nearly 20 year’s experience of teaching in a secondary school as well as having been a school DofE Manager for many years. Her passions lie in seeing young people develop as they embark on DofE and on enabling young and old to be active in the outdoors and enjoy the beautiful and wild areas that we have on our doorstep. She manages most of the admin for the company and enjoys being out on courses throughout the year. She has two children and manages, mostly, to juggle family life, work and a little bit of swimming, trail running and cycling.
Andy is passionate about taking people of all ages into the outdoors and helping them to enjoy and appreciate the environment in a safe way. He has worked in the outdoor industry for over 15 years, leading expeditions all over the UK and the world, for young people and adults. Andy has experience of leading trekking, cycling, climbing and skiing in all environments and looks after most of our course delivery. When not leading expeditions, Andy can be found running or cycling in the great outdoors.
Bex has been working in the outdoors for the last 7 years and is a qualified Mountain Leader as well as having a host of other qualifications. Working all over the UK, The UAE, Kenya and Oman, she is now based in Glasgow and loves travelling all over the UK to work on Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. As well as being really passionate about the outdoors, Bex is also a singer song writer and takes her guitar everywhere.
Bryony loves being in the outdoors and enjoys spending time being active and reflective. Her favourite activities are sailing, kite surfing and cycling.
She currently volunteers as a Senior Dinghy Instructor at a charity outdoor centre based on the south coast, working with centre staff leading water and land-based activities for children aged 8 and older.
Leading trips in the UK and overseas, working within the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and other initiatives, provides great opportunities for Bryony to come alongside people as they challenge themselves, explore and discover new possibilities.
Chris is a qualified mountain leader who loves sharing his skills and passion for the outdoors. He has successfully trained and supervised over 500 Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition participants in the National Parks of the UK. He is an accredited assessor at Gold level; particularly enjoys the challenge of running Open Gold expeditions.
Chris also runs his own successful executive coaching practice. Before moving to the Lake District from Essex, he pursued a career in financial services working in a range of senior leadership and people development roles.
Chris has been a full time outdoor instructor since 2012 following a 24 year career in the British Army. A Mountain Leader since 2002, he has led both adult and student groups on expedition in locations all over the world such as the jungles of Ecuador and Borneo, the desert in Namibia and Mongolia and the mountains of Tanzania and Nepal.
When not on expedition, Chris spends his time working as a DofE trainer/assessor, a bushcraft instructor and tries to spend as much of the ski season as possible working in Europe as a ski instructor.
Dave is passionate about the outdoors and works with a variety of people young and older from all walks of life including the Army Cadet Force. He has climbed in Canada, USA, European Alps and the Himalaya’s. He loves walking, mountain biking, skiing and climbing in his spare time.
Em has operated in extreme environments the world over; from the sea ice of the high Arctic and high altitude mountains, to the African bush and desert tundra. In these environments, her leadership challenges have also been varied; from training potential polar explorers to youth leadership expeditions. Her wide experience is exhibited through her strong chameleon leadership style, adapting herself to any given situation with effective listening, empathising and decision making. Em also holds her International Mountain Leader Award.
Esther studied for a degree in Outdoor Studies and since then has gained many years’ experience working in the outdoor industry with a wide variety of clients, activities and locations. She is also experienced in youth development work and has planned and delivered many personal and social development courses through the outdoors. She continues to pursue her own passion for the outdoors in her personal time, particularly in rock climbing. She really enjoys teaching and coaching others to develop skills for themselves, no matter what level they’re at, and loves sharing her passion with other people. She is also currently studying part time for a masters degree in Outdoor Environmental and Sustainability Education, with a keen interest in how we can effectively engage people with environmental issues.
Graeme gave up the corporate world 6 years ago to work full time in the outdoor industry – and loves it. As an ex elite racing cyclist he has always been passionate about the outdoors and now, as a qualified ML, gets great satisfaction supporting the DofE and from leading young people in the outdoors, developing their skills and competencies within the DofE framework. When not working on DofE, Graeme also spend much of his time taking charity expeditions both trekking and biking in and around the UK, Europe and beyond!
Heidi is an outdoor educator and humanistic counsellor based in Snowdonia. Heidi is qualified as a mountain leader and rock climbing instructor and has a Masters degree in Outdoor Education. She has presented her research in adventure therapy internationally and is currently working as an assistant researcher for Leeds Beckett University and curriculum developer for the University of Highlands and Islands. Heidi works to promote ‘Leave No Trace’ offering training and awareness workshops. Heidi enjoys working with young people and spending time outdoors.
Ian’s enthusiasm for the outdoors started early, encouraged by his keen fell-running dad to explore the mountains and compete in orienteering events. The benefits of exploring and embracing challenges in the outdoors have stayed with Ian throughout, so it was a natural decision for him to change from a career in the design industry to pursue one in the outdoors. As a qualified mountain leader, cycle leader and expedition leader, Ian has been privileged to lead and support many inspirational people on charity challenge events and expeditions in the UK and abroad. Some of his highlights include leading trekking groups in Nepal and on Kilimanjaro as well as experiencing and learning from remote communities in Ecuador and the Indian Himalaya during school expeditions. Most recently he has become a keen cyclist, leading and managing events in the UK and Europe. As a Duke of Edinburgh trainer and assessor Ian’s focus is on encouraging and challenging students to stretch their comfort zones and he enjoys seeing students reflect on their achievements and realise what they’re capable of.
Jess loves all aspects of the outdoors; mountaineering, climbing, surfing and more! She has a degree in Outdoor Education and loves to travel, which has taken her all over the world – including climbing in Madagascar, trekking in Nepal and Morocco and canoeing in Sweden. When Jess isn’t doing DofE work she can be found taking young people out with autism, and other additional needs, climbing, paddling, gorge walking and coasteering, as well as leading overseas expedition. She loves to give everyone the opportunity to try something new.
Joe has over 15 years of experience in the outdoor education sector, from management of large education centres to expedition leadership. Over the years Joe has gained valuable skills and qualifications to lead teams on their DofE expeditions, kayak some of the world class rivers and guide teams to some of the world’s highest mountains. Joe is still passionate about being outside and is still looking for more places for an adventure.
Joe is a self-proclaimed country boy who loves the outdoors and believes it to be the best classroom. With a degree in sports coaching and development he relishes the challenge of developing ideas and experiences for others. He did his ML aged 21 and has been working with DofE groups for 4 years and recently obtained his assessor’s certificate. He started off teaching the sport of mountain boarding nearly ten years ago and even taught his Maths teacher! Joe is a keen climber, skier and guitarist and has fully adopted the freelancer lifestyle and bought a van!
Mark has been a qualified teacher for over 20 years. He holds a PGCE in Outdoor Education but has also held a variety of teaching roles in mainstream and alternative provision schools. Mark enjoys using the DofE as a vehicle for young people’s personal development. In particular he believes that the expedition can be a formative experience in many young people’s lives. In addition to Mountain Leader summer qualification, he also holds qualifications in mountain biking, rock climbing and paddle sports.
Mark ‘Charlie’ Valentine entered the world of mountain leadership and instruction following previous careers as a Pipefitter/Welder, Print Maintenance Engineer and as Door Supervisor & Head Door Supervisor for various venues in Leeds and Mallorca. His love for the outdoors was originally discovered, way back in time, during the freedom of youth. This love was partially rediscovered whilst mountain biking in his twenties and again whilst learning wilderness survival skills in his thirties. After joining a number of outdoor skills courses this love became total and quickly developed to see him going on to gain NGB qualifications in Mountain Leadership and Coaching. Spare time is spent trekking, climbing, mountaineering, skiing and ski-touring which has taken him extensively throughout the UK and all over the world.
Since a young age Matt has had passion for the outdoors and sharing this with others. He is a keen climber and mountaineer, cyclist, paddler and has a firm belief in using the outdoors as a vehicle for change and personal development. Matt has worked in the outdoors since the late 90’s while at University and has subsequently worked throughout the UK and overseas as both and Expedition Leader and Youth Development Facilitator. This work and his travels have taken him through South East Asia and Central-East Africa, as well as New Zealand and the Canadian Rockies.
Neil has combined working in the outdoor industry and teaching for over 15 years since leaving the military. He decided to leave the monopoly board last year and go travelling around the world for a year with his wife and two daughters. They visited 41 countries in just under a year, fulfilling an ambition to widen his children’s horizons as well as adding to his goal of visiting 100 countries before he reaches 50!
He has been organising and assessing DofE for over 10 years. His most challenging experience was organising and supervising his gold group into three different sub groups doing all the main modes of travel for expeditions: walking in Skye, canoeing along the Caledonian Canal in Scotland and horse back riding in Wales during one busy 3 week period.
Sarah lives on the edge of the Lake District where she was born and raised. She has been leading DofE expeditions for the past five years and loves helping young people to experience the wonderful outdoors. When not up her native fells, she is most likely to be found on some good-looking boulders or at the climbing wall. She loves cake, enjoys a spot of downhill jogging, and has the world’s most adorable dog.
Sam has had a love of the mountains for as long as he can remember. He spends all his spare time rock climbing and mountaineering around the UK as well as further afield. Sam loves passing on his passion and enthusiasm for the outdoors and has been working as a full time instructor for nearly 10 years . During this time he has lead groups throughout the UK in both summer and winter conditions, as well as leading expeditions to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Morocco. Sam holds both the Summer and Winter Mountain Leader Award as well as the Rock Climbing Award.
Although Steve comes from SW London he has always been an explorer and was fascinated by wild life. As a kid, he would ride his bike to any bit of open space like Wimbledon Common or Mitcham Common to explore and search for frogs, newts or small mammals and watch the deer in the Royal Parks. Nothing much has changed except that he now goes a little further afield. He is still exploring and as an International Mountain Leader has been lucky enough to lead treks in very many parts of the world. He is truly passionate about getting young people into the outdoors and helping them to develop their full potential.
Sue is a committed lover of the outdoors and has been working on DofE expeditions for more than twelve years. She is addicted to personal challenges and is currently working through walking all the long distance trails in the UK. Sue’s other love is Mathematics and she also works as a freelance maths tutor.
Terry been mountaineering for over 20 years. Having spent 12 year in the British Army he is passionate about sharing his knowledge of the outdoors. He has experienced of the Rocky Mountains, Himalayas, Italian Dolomites, the Atlas Mountains and French Alps to name but a few. Terry coaches young people in climbing, paddle sports and mountaineering. His other interests include sea kayaking.
Will Sheaff is an experienced walking, climbing and watersports instructor, based in the Peak District. His passion for the outdoors developed as a teenager, whilst completing his own DofE awards, and he has since climbed around the world in Europe and further afield with extensive trekking up to a high point at Kilimanjaro summit. Over the past few years Will has enjoyed trekking in Ecuador and Uganda, as well as throughout the Peak District. He loves sharing his enthusiasm for the outdoors and passing on his knowledge and skills.
Chloe’s DofE story… After moving from living in a major city when I was five, for most of my life I can remember living in the countryside and now can’t imagine living anywhere else, from spending weekends and afterschool outside (not having a television since until I was seven) to being unable to go anywhere […]
We’ve run 3 residentials this year at February half term, over the Easter holidays and recently during October half term. Over the February half term we were joined by 25 students, all studying Maths or Physics at A level. They came from all over England to concentrate on their A Levels and revise for half a […]
We’ve had another 3 days of fun with Year 6 from Leicester High School for Girls. With the aim of allowing time for the girls to get to know each other, have fun, cement friendships and form new bonds, we planned a residential in Leicestershire to allow them time to play and have lots of […]