BMC Equity Symposium 2015: Developing Outdoor Leadership

Posted by Carey Davies on 30/01/2015
Climbing at the 2014 equity symposium

The second BMC Equity Symposium aims to empower people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds to become outdoor leaders. Book now to take part in this important event based in the Peak District, on 15 to 17 May.

What is the BMC Equity Symposium 2015?
The BMC Equity Symposium 2015 is a weekend aimed at equipping people with the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to become outdoor leaders and role models in BAME communities. It is run by the BMC in partnership with Mountain Training and the Mosaic National Network.

Who is this event for?
Do you have:

  • An interest in the outdoors?
  • Good links and contacts in BAME communities?
  • A strong desire to develop your skills to lead BAME groups in adventurous activities in the countryside?

Then you are exactly the sort of person we would like to see take part.

Think of this symposium as a starting point in the process of learning what it takes to become an outdoor leader. The event will be run in conjunction with Mountain Training, the body which educates and trains people in walking, climbing and mountaineering, and the MOSAIC National Network, which seeks to create ‘community champions’ for the outdoors in BME communities. 

After the symposium participants will have the opportunity to continue learning by signing up for a course or qualification appropriate to their experience such as Hill and Mountain Skills, Lowland Leader, Hill and Moorland Leader or Mountain Leader. Mountain Training has funding from Sport England to help with the cost of these routes if needed.

No specific level of experience in the outdoors is required, so don’t worry if you haven’t got much. All that we ask is that participants must be genuinely committed to becoming outdoor leaders and role models, ideally with a good track record in working with people from BAME backgrounds.

When is it?
The event takes place on from 15 to 17 May 2015. The symposium starts at 7pm on Friday 15 May and finishes at 1pm on Sunday 17 May. There will be optional outdoor activities on Sunday afternoon for those who are able to stay longer.

Where is it?
The event takes place at YHA Castleton Losehill Hall, in the heart of the Hope Valley, one of the most spectacular parts of the Peak District.

Food and accommodation
A buffet dinner will be provided on the Friday from 7pm until 11pm. On Saturday breakfast, lunch and dinner will be provided. On Sunday breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Timetable & Activities: let's get outside!

The packed timetable will consist of both on-site and outdoor workshops and inspirational speakers, as well as lighter-hearted activities and evening entertainment. 

On-site sessions will cover all the most important challenges of leading and how to deal with them: legal issues, insurance, planning, dealing with emergencies, first aid, upland weather, keeping costs down and knowing your access rights.

Outdoor sessions will take part on the hills and crags surrounding the hostel, and will be about putting knowledge into practice. They will cover: basic and advanced navigation, rope work, managing a group, and learning about the history, wildlife and flora of a landscape in order to enrich the experience and keep your groups interested.

Networking and discussion is also very much encouraged, and there will be sessions dedicated to this.

Interspersed with the learning and discussion will be activities like indoor bouldering and a possible falconry display. Evenings will see dinner, lectures from inspirational speakers, and other entertainment.

Some of the sessions will also be women-only.

View the timetable here.


Cost
The cost is just £30 for BMC members and £40 for non-members – a huge discount (BMC membership costs £15.72 for the first year if you sign up by direct debit.). The price includes two nights’ accommodation, all meals, plus access to all the activities on the timetable.

The cost without accommodation is £20 for non-members and members.

How do I book?

Please apply for the event by downloading and filling in this questionnaire on your experience, interests and ideas.

The price for the event is heavily subsidised and there are a limited number of places available, so unfortunately we cannot guarantee all applicants a place on the weekend. Successful applicants will receive a booking form to fill in.

Please email completed questionnaires to carey@thebmc.co.uk, or post them to the following address:

BMC
The Old Church
177-179 Burton Road
West Didsbury
Manchester
M20 2BB
UK


Speakers

Speakers are to be confirmed – watch this space (see last year’s timetable and speakers.)

Further information

Research shows ethnic minorities in Britain participate less in the outdoors and adventurous activities than the rest of the population. Nevertheless, there is a growing awareness of the outdoors among the BAME population. Last year’s symposium, for example, themed ‘Breaking Down the Barriers’, attracted 70 participants. It is not the case that BAME people simply ‘aren’t bothered’ about the countryside or adventurous activities.

Nevertheless, there is a need for more structured opportunities and support for people from BAME backgrounds. This is where leaders and role models come in; people like Fida Hussain, Mountain Training’s Leader of the Year, who has used his mountaineering skills and qualifications to deliver Duke of Edinburgh awards in Rochdale for over 10 years with a very high success rate.

So the focus this year is on how community groups and leaders can get the necessary skills and confidence to tackle hill and mountain activities, with a much greater emphasis on the follow-up with participants than last year’s event. If you are genuinely committed to helping others experience all the wonder and benefit of the outdoors, this is the event for you.

Watch the 2014 BMC Equity Symposium on BMC TV:



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