Jim Wyllie
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Jim Wyllie - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1959

I left boarding school in winter 1959 and my father gave me the choice of the Outward Bound mountain or sea school. As I had some knowledge of the Lake District I opted for Eskdale. When I left school I was small for my age and, although I didn't know it at the time, I was dyslexic and therefore an under achiever at school; I left with just one 'O' level.

There is no doubt in my mind that the greatest positive influence on my life was, and still is, the month I spent in Nansen patrol at Eskdale Outward Bound Mountain School (OBMS). For the first time in my life I found I had leadership qualities and had something positive to offer my colleagues. I also found that boys from a far less privileged background than mine had a great deal to teach me!

I left OBMS fit and strong and proud of myself. I am now 67 and have achieved more than I ever dreamed possible. I have run a number of companies, been a magistrate for some 25 years including chairing the Youth Bench and been an appraiser. On retirement I took a BA Hons degree.

One 'O' level and one degree!! I can't thank the OBMS enough. That is why I sent my son, he is also dyslexic, but a confident young man with a good degree and doing really well in his life.

Jim Wyllie
Creator of Cedric the Seahorse