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Adventure Education recruits assistant instructors 31 October 2011

IF you are aged 16 to 25, enjoy the great outdoors and have a sense of adventure, the Department of Education and Children’s Youth Service has the ideal opportunity for you. Assistant instructors at Ardwhallan

For the third year running, Adventure Education, which runs outdoor activities for young people aged 13+, is recruiting assistant instructors.

Based at Ardwhallan, West Baldwin, volunteers will develop the skills they need to run courses for young people and gain valuable outdoor education qualifications along the way.

A fun and informal selection weekend takes place on the 12th and 13th November.

The six assistant instructors recruited in November 2010 have had an action-packed year and recently gave a presentation to the scheme’s sponsor, Britannia International, friends and family at Ballakermeen High School, where they spoke about their experiences.

Lucy Connors said:

‘The year has really boosted my confidence and given me a whole new skill set.’

During the year, Lucy and fellow assistant instructors Liam Wiltshire, Richard Gault, Naemie Wilson, Emma Diamond and Johanna Gledhill had the opportunity not only to develop their canoeing, rock climbing, kayaking and sailing skills, but also gain experience dealing with large groups of young people.

Specific activities included helping to run youth nights for youth clubs, assisting with the Paddle Sport and Sailing Club, helping at adventure weeks held during the school summer holidays and attending the Royal Manx Agricultural Show and Mannifest with Adventure Education’s eight-metre portable climbing wall.

In return for their hard work, the six received Royal Yachting Association Powerboat training, enabling them to assist with sailing groups, learned first aid, gained a children safeguarding certificate and a bronze medallion lifesaving award – and had lots of fun.

Emma will now work at an activity centre in the UK, where she hopes to become a full-time instructor. The course has re-ignited Naemie’s passion for the outdoors and she is off to Canada to become a ski instructor. Liam is now at university studying media. Richard, Johanna and Lucy will on the Island and will continue to help out at Ardwhallan.

Josh Rowlands and Patrick Creer, who were among the inaugural intake of trainees in 2009/10, returned as trainee instructors and helped coach this year’s intake, working closely with them on activities. Having gained a broad experience on their one-year course, Josh and Patrick specialised in paddlesports and mountain biking respectively this year.

Patrick is now starting a degree in sports science and outdoor education at Bangor University. Josh is hoping to go to Bangor University to do environmental science next year and has just started a full-time volunteer position at Ardwhallan for his gap year, which is supported by the Golden Jubilee Trust and the Ardwhallan Trust. He will continue to work with young people, will develop his instructor qualifications and skills and will be involved with the general maintenance and improvement of the centre.

If you are interested in participating in the selection weekend, phone Paul Melling, Head of Outdoor Centres for the DEC, on 407549 or Jenny Lantry, Outdoor Education Worker, on 375213.

Paul said:

‘Adventure education relies on volunteers just like our assistant instructors, who have put in around 2,000 hours over the course of the scheme. The team are a great example of young people getting involved, being positive role models and encouraging other young people to access, enjoy and explore. I would like to say a big thank you to the team and wish them the best of luck. I hope they continue to inspire others in the outdoors.’

Photo: Assistant instructors gain personal qualifications and skills and help young people to enjoy outdoor pursuits

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