Lynn Robinson: New BMC vice president

Posted by Sarah Stirling on 07/05/2017
Lynn on the summit of Mt Elbrus

Introducing Lynn Robinson, a new vice president of the BMC. This all-round volunteer star has already made a significant difference to the BMC: she has contributed to all the current BMC series of guidebooks and is an active and enthusiastic member of the Peak Area committee.

The AGM was only a few weeks ago, so I’m just getting used to the idea of being a VP! Practical things are happening, such as getting my name registered at Companies House and I’m spending an induction day at the BMC office next week. I have my first Executive Committee meeting next week – so I’ll be able to tell you more after that! 

I’ve become a VP at a very exciting and busy time for the BMC. The organisation has been through a tough year, but its ready to enter the next stage of development, with help from the governance review. I want to ensure the review helps move the organisation forward and increase its stability and unity, so it can get on efficiently with all its important business. The challenge will be how this is communicated to all BMC members and how they are engaged with the process so they feel genuinely involved.

I’m a long-standing supporter of the BMC and all areas of its work. I particularly welcome the work it is doing on access, as much as the issues are the same if you are a climber or walker. I wish to see improvements in the way volunteering is supported and recognised in the organisation.

The BMC is a ‘broad church’ with a diverse membership. I want to ensure that all members feel a part of the organisation and feel consulted with. I consider myself to be a very grass-roots volunteer and would like to see a more formal structure for encouraging and recognising volunteering, and for ensuring that the volunteers, especially those involved in the decision making for the organisation, are as diverse as its membership. Whether it’s at area meetings, or executive level, I would like to see the representation broaden – but I know that’s not going to happen overnight, nor by chance.

I feel I have already made a significant difference as a BMC volunteer. I've contributed to all the current BMC guidebook series and co-edited the Froggatt to Black Rocks guidebook. The usability, accuracy, balance of content and taking lower grade climbing seriously (these climbers buy most of the guidebooks!) is now where I wanted it to be when I first became involved.

I've also helped to communicate and resolve access issues in the wonderful hills of the Peak area. No one should take for granted access to our beautiful countryside and the work the BMC oversees, whether at national policy level or very local level.

Most recently I’ve been involved in the Women’s Development Group. This explores and supports initiatives to further encourage and support womens’ involvement in climbing and especially in the work of the BMC.

I see my role as VP as a progression of my volunteering and my encouragement of others within the BMC. I am one of the recipients of the 2017 BMC George Band Award for Outstanding Voluntary Contribution to Mountaineering, which represents the tip of a volunteering iceberg, where most efforts from a huge number of volunteers, are usually unseen and unacknowledged.

I have a very diverse professional background. Initially I trained as a Registered General Nurse, then became a professional social worker, worked in Health Promotion and Public Health and NHS management. I have numerous educational and professional qualifications. I am currently a Contract and Performance Manager for a large NHS mental health trust in Nottinghamshire working on contract values in the millions.

I think the most important element I can bring to the role is my long standing enthusiastic commitment to the BMC and its voluntary work. Being someone who has participated in most activities under the organisational umbrella and has volunteered extensively including significant guidebook work and committee membership, I am very aware of the variety of people (and their differing interests).

Alongside this is my wide-ranging management experience in the NHS including; financial, performance, contracts, organisational change, public liaison and governance. In total this gives me wide ranging skills and experience to transfer to the VP role. I also bring a positive attitude and am someone who genuinely wants to listen to diverse views and come to realistic and fair solutions for all climbers and hill-walkers.

I’ve always loved hill-walking and from that I moved into scrambling and then climbing. I joined my university mountaineering club, first as an undergraduate and then during my postgraduate studies and started working with the BMC with their assistance on areas of club training and safety concerns.

I moved to Nottingham, from West Yorkshire, when I was 18 to study and I’ve never left. It’s a great city to live in and close to the Peak District, where I’ve climbed and hill walked most.

Since then I’ve climbed around the world, mainly in Europe, Asia and America, including new routing and exploration in Egypt. I have also mountaineered around the world, including trekking peaks in Nepal, volcanoes in Ecuador, Sierra Nevada peaks in California, Mount Elbrus and the European Alps, including Mont Blanc.

My favourite interest is multi-pitch climbing/mountaineering, but I’ve also bouldered extensively, and sport and aid climbed. Even though I describe myself as a lower-grade climber, I do occasionally stray into E-number on-sights (albeit sometimes translated from YDS)! I am also a competent ice climber and enjoy winter climbing in Scotland, the Lakes and North Wales (and even on Kinder when the conditions are right).

I enjoy climbing indoors on winter evenings, especially bouldering, and go several times a week to my local walls in and around Nottingham. I’ve taken part in numerous local bouldering competitions over the years. I’ve trekked around the world, but I’m just as happy in the Pennines. Being in the mountains, whether I am walking or climbing, is where I “recharge my batteries”.

One challenge is going to be how I’m going to keep up with my real passion of being in the mountains, alongside being in meetings talking about them!

READ: Meet the new team at the top of the BMC

READ: Acting president Nick Kurth interview

READ: Patron Rab Carrington interview

READ: Bombshell at the BMC AGM

READ: BMC organisational review


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