Meet our Trust and Foundations manager, Isabel Berry

The Outward Bound Trust raises around £2.5m annually, helping to support almost 17,000 under-privileged young people, who would not otherwise have the opportunity to benefit from an adventurous learning and personal development course. 

Isabel -weblIsabel is responsible for identifying and building lasting relationships with charitable trusts and foundations, who are interested in supporting our work to help us reach our ambitious fundraising targets.

What is the best thing about your role?

"It's wonderful to reflect on the number of young people whose Outward Bound® courses I’ve made possible because of securing donations."

What are the challenges?

"Some trusts are difficult to research – but often these are the ones who we'd like to get on board as supporters!  You also have to be patient and have an optimistic outlook... it can take between two to six months to receive a decision and even then, not every application will result in a donation."

Is there one part of your role that may surprise other people?

"It requires imagination and the ability to see an angle of opportunity to approach a trust that other charities haven’t thought of."

How long have you worked for The Trust?

"Nearly nine years now.  I started my career as an instructor at our Aberdovey centre before moving to the head office in Cumbria.  I moved on a secondment and my role involved coordinating large projects funded by several of our corporate supporters. For the last three years I have been Trusts and Foundations Manager and my prior experience and knowledge gained from working across The Trust has proved invaluable in supporting my present role.

The Trust is a wonderful organisation to work for.  It's warm and friendly, and filled with inspiring people who really care about the work that they do.  I always enjoy coming to work and relish the opportunities I have to spend time at our centres, which are all in stunning locations."

Do you have any great memories that you’ve experienced in your present role? 

"Getting the news of my first successful grant was very exciting.  More recently a trust supported us with a grant of £250k towards capital work at our Ullswater centre.  It felt incredible that I had been instrumental in raising that much money.  Although I don't instruct any longer, I enjoy getting out in the mountains and on the water with young people on our courses.  I shadowed a course recently and vividly remember setting out on a canoe trip.  The lake was glassy flat and there was thick mist over the water, yet above this you could see the mountain tops peeking out.  It was so peaceful and beautiful and I felt really privileged to be there, with those young people."

For further information please contact Isabel on 01931 740027 or email