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Meet the staff

Aled Davies: Started in the outdoors industry over 20 years ago and my love of the outdoors goes back to being raised on the family hill farm in the Brecon Beacons. Now I enjoy developing people, building their confidence and enabling success, whilst encouraging responsible visits to the more remote areas of Wales.

Top Tip: Plan early, be organised early, start early and you'll be finished early

 

Alix Thurlow-Rose: I developed a love of expeditions as a teenager in the Air Cadet Force. Having ridden and competed horses all my life I set up the successful Horse Riding expedition programme, as well as organising all the Open Walking Expeditions. I love to add fun and enthusiasm when working with groups of all ages.

Top Tip: Bring talcum powder to dry your feet and make them feel amazing and use colour coordinated dry bags to keep your gear organised and easy to find.

 

Tomos Bidgood: I love working in the outdoors because you can never be sure what the next day will bring. Its an ever changing environment and no matter how good the weather forecast is there's always the chance of a little surprise. Tomos is in charge at Expeditions Wales DofE Base Camp and course directs the Gold Expeditions.

Top Tip: Be prepared! A small amount of forward planning and preparation will make your life a whole lot easier on expedition.

 

Jess Moon Bowen: I enjoy working in the outdoors as everyday has a different view and story to tell. I love getting out whether walking, on my bike, or out on Mountain Rescue training or call outs. Jess is qualified cycle leader and often leads London to Paris rides.

Top tip: Make sure you drink plenty of water and keep well hydrated.

 

 

Will Bamford: Qualified teacher and experienced outdoors instructor, Will is quite genuinely a local boy, having been brought up in the Cambrian Mountains. Having previously worked for a number of centres, including Outward Bound, Will brings huge experience and a calm manner to the team.

Top tip: Learn something new each day and you'll enjoy the experience more.

 

 

Paul Fortescue: Former Sixth Form College lecturer and DofE Manager, Paul is our School liaison in the South East. Years of experience as an assessor and supervisor, adding to our knowledge of our Bronze expedition areas.

Top Tip: Work together and get everything done.

 

 

Brian Mitchell: Another highly experience instructor, Brian is often working on Bronze expeditions, where his dedication helps even the most challenged of participants to succeed. When not on expedition, he is often out with Mountain Rescue, or training dogs.

Top tip: Think about your food and always look forward to what you've got to eat, I know I do.

 

 

Rebecca Coles: Having completed the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze, Silver and Gold scheme myself I now really enjoy working as an outdoor instructor and, in particular, on DofE expeditions. I still go on my own expeditions which take me to all corners of the world and I have climbed, skied and trekked on all 7 continents.

Top tip: The less you take the more comfortable you'll be.

 

Graham Bailey: Started as a qualified teacher before moving into the outdoors many, many years ago. Graham brings a wealth of experience and many exceptional stories. Led many expeditions and trips both home and abroad and when not out on expedition is often manning control for Brecon Mountain Rescue.

Top tip: Pay careful consideration to your clothing, you may need the extra layers at night.

 

Graeme Forster: When not working on DofE Expeditions, Graeme can normally be found either on a mountain or clambering up a Cornish cliff. With over 30 years experience, he always aims to inspire and enthuse.

Top top: When buying a new rucksack put plenty of weight in it and make sure it fits you properly and feels right. Once you've done that, pack it neatly and it will feel far less heavy!

 

 

Patrick Tarpey: When I was aged nine some kind people (Newchapel Scouts) took me from the centre of smoky Stoke-on-Trent to the Lake District. I fell in love with the lakes and the mountains. I just love being out in all weathers, to breathe the fresh air and to share that experience with young people, just like Newchapel Scouts did for me over forty years ago. Patrick is based in Wolverhampton and works with our Midlands groups.

Top tip: If it’s sunny take a hat, if it’s cold take a hat if its windy and wet take a hat in fact always take a hat.

 

Owen Williams: The outdoors is an escapism that offers a chance to face personal challenges and adventures. I see it as a chance to feel the refreshing forces of the natural environment and understand when and why young people can find the experience challening.

Top tip: Travel light, walk with care, soak in the beauty of nature.

 

John Chapman: After a successful career in the forces, John transferred his organisation skills and experiences into giving young people opportunities in the outdoors, from skiing trips to expeditions in Scotland. 

Top tip: Pay attention to your foot wear and make sure it is suited to the task, blisters and sore feet are something that can be prevented.....by you!

 

 

Kerry Rees: DofE officer for a South Wales council for many years, as well as being a regular assessor for the Brecon Beacons Network, Kerry enjoys helping young people through the challenge of expeditions in her caring, honest manner.

Top tip: Have a good aim, it will add a lot to your expedition.

 

 

Mark Jones: A retired librarian who has returned to the Brecon area and in 2016 finished all the Scottish Munros. Mark is a keen volunteer with Brecon Mountain Rescue team and since joining us in 2015 has thrown his enthusiasm into expedition work.

Top Tip: Enjoy it, you might never do something like this again!

 

Sophie Cave: Sophie joined us in 2016 and immediately made an impression on groups with her enthusiasm and understanding, having gained a great deal of varied experienced working in different centres across the world.

Top tip: Take a good look at the map, then another.