What's it like being a Head of Centre at The Outward Bound Trust?
by Martin Cooper, Head of Centre Ullswater
What's the best part of your job?
For me personally, it is an incredible privilege to lead one of The Trusts busy and vibrant centres, working with committed and talented people. It's also a big responsibility for me to ensure that everyone understands and lives our mission and core values. In staying true to our charity's mission, I know we can make a meaningful impact on the lives of the young people who take part in our courses.
What's new at Ullswater?
We are about to embark on a major redevelopment project at Ullswater. The work that goes on behind the scenes in preparing, planning and raising funds for a new major build in a National Park is enormous. Thanks to the generosity of our donors we can ensure Ullswater is enjoyed by young people for many more years to come.
What surprises you about your centre/The Trust?
When I look at the scale of our operation at Ullswater, I continue to be amazed at the thousands of relationships and positive interactions that take place each year, through the thousands of adventurous days we deliver.
I'm always impressed by our genuine enthusiasm for big adventures, instructors are using their skills and qualifications to create truly memorable experiences for young people. The overriding highlight for me, common to so many of the adventures The Outward Bound Trust deliver, is knowing that that young people are undertaking interesting, varied journeys across land and water.
What's your fondest memory?
It is very hard to single out any one adventure, but an experience I will never forget was when I swam across Ullswater with 80 young people who were concluding three weeks of adventure with us. They were happy, vibrant and healthy as a result of their experiences with us. Amongst the group was a young man from Glasgow. At the beginning of the course he did not feel confident enough to take part in Jog & Dip and instructors worked very hard throughout the course to keep him engaged. His swim across the lake that day epitomises who we are - our mission being to use adventure to unlock the potential we believe young people hold.
What are you aiming to achieve in 2015?
We will continue to focus on management restructure and staff training at Ullswater, allowing us to increase the impact of our work further. The intention being to support the day to day and long term running of our centres, encouraging best practice and ensuring we continue to deliver quality experiences for our participants.