Open Mountain Biking Day in the Peaks:
Thank you both so much for the bike ride yesterday. I really enjoyed the variation in terrain, learning how to ride the difficult bits, amazing views and, of course, the coffee and cake stop. You had planned the day to perfection and I look forward to another day on the bike with you. My running friend Jane has heard all about it and would like to have a go. You would not have noticed this but I was actually laughing out loud at various points – felt good
Nicky, Leicester (part of an open group of 6 adults)
Emma and Andy led a group of varying levels of fitness, age and experience on a weekend’s walking in Snowdonia with the aim of climbing Snowdon. March threw the worst of its wet, windy and poor visibility weather at us, yet Emma and Andy encouraged us all on to reach the summit. They are unfailingly supportive and walked amongst the group and watched everyone’s progress. We all felt in exceptionally safe hands but, more than that, we all had great fun. Their knowledge of the mountains and routes is second to none and you can be assured they will choose a route which challenges yet is within capabilities and provides a tremendous sense of achievement. The accommodation they arranged was excellent and our sides ached with laughter over dinner as we discussed the day’s exploits. Their cheerfulness and sensitivity to everyone’s needs proved outstanding. We have complete confidence in them and have no hesitation in recommending them wholeheartedly. You will have a tremendous time and feel a real sense of achievement! Thanks Emma and Andy!!
Jane, Rutland (part of a group of 10 adults)
Thank you so much for a wonderful day walking in the Peak District, taking us to the very top of the Peaks felt like a real achievement and we wouldn’t have had the confidence or skills to do it without you.
Sue, Rutland (part of a family of 4)
DofE for schools:
Over the past 10 years DofE has grown into a major extra-curricular activity at Leicester High School. Virtually every girl in Y9 achieves the bronze award and increasing numbers go on to do silver and gold. This is largely due to the outstanding leadership provided by Emma Martin. She achieves absolutely the right balance between support and challenge, encouraging those who, at first, are unfamiliar with the outdoors, then setting ever more demanding goals as the girls mature and gain in confidence.
Emma works very closely with Andy Rowlinson whose experience of mountain leadership is second to none. Together they engender a spirit of adventure, a passion for the outdoors and a desire to share their knowledge and experience with young people. DofE enables timid, under-confident girls to blossom into leaders who can face and overcome challenge, learn new skills, work in a team and, at the same, time have a lot of fun!
Julia Burns, former Headmistress of Leicester High School
The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme is hard to describe in one word, but my group managed to sum it up fairly well between them: interesting, exciting, intense, difficult, but above all, a worthwhile challenge. When walking out into the Yorkshire Dales, it is typical for you to lose sight of your goal, your target, or perhaps even your motivation for carrying on, after a gruelling 15km (and as a teenager, self-confidence is certainly a fluctuating thing), but the First 4 Adventure team were brilliant in reminding me of why I was climbing the Dales and spending my holiday in the blistering winds and cold: their apparent and real faith in our teams made every single second of the expedition more conceivable and manageable than I thought possible. This faith and confidence in our ability from this company inspired a confidence in ourselves, teaching us to take our heads out of our map once and a while and find the trust in ourselves to navigate our way through the Dales; this guidance also taught us to be appreciative of the beauty of the English countryside, another way to ease the intensity of the walks as we enjoyed the impressive scenery. The trust we had in the First 4 Adventure team not only stemmed from the obvious knowledge they had, but also from their impressive amount of experience, which not only gave us even more faith in their capability, but also made for great conversation, another reason we enjoyed the walks as much as we did. What’s more, the enthusiasm and obvious enjoyment they had for their job amounted in the enormous amount of respect we all had for them, and their entirely selfless attitude helped us embark on a scheme that not only strengthened our bond as a team, but also strengthened our attitude to new and tougher challenges.
Phoebe, Leicester High School for Girls, 15 years old (Silver DofE)