Based in Colchester, I work mostly in the Essex and Suffolk area. I can offer a wide range of opportunities for learning and adventure outdoors including bushcraft and survival skills, kayaking, climbing, and Forest School.
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James was a leading figure in a project at Pear Tree Mead school in Harlow, in conjunction with the BBC2 television series Gareth Malone's Extraordinary School for Boys. As Series Producer on the series I worked closely with James in devising outdoor activities for 10 and 11 year-old boys that we hoped would get them excited about being at school and re-engaged with nature. James co-ordinated a range of activities with the boys from clearing a wooded area to be used as an outdoor classroom, to a camp-out, tree-climbing, rope-walking, fire-building and more. James was an inspirational figure to work with, and his evident love of nature, alongside his strong feeling for how the outdoors can inspire children educationally, was of huge value to the project.
Series Producer, Twenty Twenty Television
Wilderness Foundation, The Start of the Turnaround Project
James is a seasoned outdoor instructor with a calm and mature approach to guiding young people not only to develop themselves in a positive way, but also to develop an appreciation and respect of the outdoors. His way of working is safe and bounded on the inner track, but for youth on the outer track they experience an opportunity to explore, be creative and discover their own strengths. We spent a weekend camping in ancient woodland conducting a series of activities including knife work, shelter building, outdoor cooking etc. James offered space and respect to the group and this was reciprocated by all who were engaged. Having a beautiful day in a wonderful location helped to support his leadership, but I believe his experience and facilitation would have been as effective in wind and rain.
I thought that the weekend was very good and feedback from the participants was really good - they felt they got a lot out of it. I felt that the atmosphere of the location and the way the team all pulled together was chilled - but focused and bounded - and the young people were able to feel respected and acknowledged as well as being able to relax. I really appreciated your calm focus and energy and the willingness to let things play themselves out, also allowing space for exploration and creativity. The solemnity of the introduction to the knife work gave it a gravitas that I think rubbed off on all the youth - feeling trusted and responsible - and then given time to continue with their projects as the weekend continued. I think your manner created a safe space atmosphere which for this group was particularly relevant taking into account their social context.
Director of the Wilderness Foundation
Duke of Edinburgh Award Gold Practice Expedition in Snowdonia
Back at school after the trip, and everything is manic again. Thank you for all your comments, myself and Tim agreed with everything you mentioned and are looking at a couple of ways to get them up to speed with their navigation. We all learnt a lot from your experience, and I would like to thank you again for all your hard work. The kids have been singing your praises to their friends back in the sixth form.
Duke of Edinburgh's Award Expedition coordinator, Mayflower School