Exploring our diversity

Bringing our strategy to life

If you ask anyone at Outward Bound what ‘The Mountains Are Calling’ means to them, they will say bigger, better, stronger, bolder. The Mountains Are Calling is the name given to our current strategy – a strategy that focuses on three key priorities (bigger, better, stronger) and three areas of experimentation (bolder). Our strategy is very much alive in our business and we hope you'll be interested in our progress towards one of the areas of experimentation.

Becoming bolder: to take the first steps in creating a staff team that more closely represents the backgrounds of the young people participating in our courses.

Becoming bolder

We are proud to work with young people from many different backgrounds and personal circumstances, from within the diverse communities across the UK. As part of becoming bolder, our strategy challenges us to become more effective at doing this in practice - to take the first steps towards attracting and retaining an instructional team that more closely represents the backgrounds of the young people who attend our programmes.

Diversity project

Our Programme Participants


This is an equal split
Between male and female participants


come from
black, asian and minority ethnic backgrounds


of school participants
needed our financial support to attend outward bound in 2017

We know that currently our team of instructors is not as diverse as the young people we work with. We know that we are not alone in this. But we have the organisational capacity and interest to lead this, driven from the very top of our business and by our trustees, which is an exciting opportunity we hope to share with the sector.

We also understand that this is a complex and multi-faceted area to address and so are approaching it with sensitivity and a curiosity to learn from others who may already be involved in research and practical initiatives in this area.



The initial phase of the project will take six months and will involve listening internally to our current staff teams, as well as researching externally to discover what existing knowledge we may be able to build on. This will include finding out about:

  • Research or projects relating to diversity at participation level in outdoor activities/spaces.
  • Engagement and progression through relevant National Governing Body Award schemes by different populations.
  • Outdoor career pathways eg colleges and university courses, trainee schemes.
  • The backgrounds of our current instructional team through a baseline survey.



The project will need to be underpinned by a solid grounding of knowledge about some of the deeper cultural and societal challenges, as well as benefits, surrounding the creation of a more diverse workforce. We hope to increase our collective understanding of these throughout this piece of work.

In March 2018 we will aim to develop an action plan for the next stage of the project, as well as sharing our findings from this initial consultation period.

UPDATE: August 2018

Read more about this project and our progress to date here.

If you would like to be involved, feel you have something to share or are interested to find out more about the project, please email Kate O’Brien, Project Manager: katherine.obrien@outwardbound.org.uk