Opportunities to get involved with the BMC

Posted by David Turnbull on 17/11/2012
Your chance to put something back into climbing, hill walking and mountaineering.

Whether you’re an engineer, ecologist, accountant, land agent, academic, quarrying expert, guidebook boffin or feel you have something else to offer mountaineers – read on, as we might have just the job for you.

The BMC is on the lookout for new people to take up some important roles in our voluntary specialist committees and technical working groups.  Volunteers are vital to the BMC and we’re particularly keen to hear from younger people (25-35 or less even) with useful skills and experience; we’re also a bit male dominated so we’d be especially interested to hear from female members.

What we need:

Access, Conservation and Land Management
This vital work employs three full-time staff and is overseen by the BMC Access, Conservation & Environment Group in conjunction with a specialist Land Management Group, which deals with BMC properties, and the BMC Access & Conservation Trust (ACT), which funds some of our work.  In addition we run the Harrison’s Rocks Management Group, and the Wilton Management Group to look after some of our property assets for climbers, as well as a Quarries Working Group which aims to maximise the benefit of disused quarries for climbers. In 2013 we plan to establish a management group for Tremadog's Craig Bwlch y Moch, which is also owned by the BMC.

If you have a particular interest or expertise to offer this work we would be very pleased to here from you; property managers, ornithologists, legal experts and quarrying professionals would be especially welcome and we’re also on the lookout for a keen young Trustee for ACT, possibly someone with fund-raising experience.

Access, Conservation & Environment Group - Terms of Reference

Land Management Group - Terms of Reference

Information about the BMC Access & Conservation Trust

Competitions and Climbing Walls
The competitions scene is vibrant and involves literally hundreds of volunteers who help out at BMC and international events.  We’ve recently taken on some new Competitions Committee members but we’re still short of a fund-raising expert.  Any takers?

On the climbing walls front we’re in the process of re-structuring our Walls Committee into a more practical Technical Working Group to support wall users, the Association of British Climbing Walls (ABC) and the Climbing Wall Manufacturers Association (CWMA).  The Committee needs a good firm shot in the arm and we’re open to offers from interested parties.

Competition Climbing Committee - Terms of Reference

Climbing Wall Committee - Terms of Reference

Clubs and Huts
The Clubs Committee comprises local and ‘national’ clubs and oversees the BMC’s work for clubs; it also organises events and technical training opportunities for club members.  We’re on the lookout for a lawyer and one or two student club members, so if you’re available to attend the occasional Wednesday evening meeting in Manchester do get in touch.

The operation and management for club huts falls under our Huts Group.  The longstanding chair, Iain McCallum, is due to step down so we need a new chair.  In addition we’re always looking for people with working knowledge of the technical and legislative aspects of running huts.

If you have a soft spot for Skye then maybe you’d like to become the BMC rep on the Glen Brittle Hut Committee? It meets 2-3 times per year and yes, we cover travel expenses.

Meanwhile in the Peak District, the Whillans Hut at the Roaches is always looking for ‘handymen’ (or women) or local climbers available to help out with the occasional maintenance call-out or minor emergency.

Clubs Committee - Terms of Reference

Huts Group - Terms of Reference

The Equity Steering Group oversees the BMC’s Equal Opportunities Policy and the processes required to meet The Equality Standard for Sport, and aims to ensure that all people have a genuine and equal opportunity to participate in climbing, hill walking and mountaineering.

The group needs people with:
• experience in breaking down barriers to participation by disadvantaged groups.
• knowledge of, connections to, or experience in representing/working with Afro-Caribbean communities in particular, and with ethnic communities in general.
• experience of working to increase women's participation in sport.

Other skills needed by the group, but which are better represented at the moment are:
• knowledge of, connections to, or experience in working with Asian communities.
• experience of working with people with disabilities and facilitating their involvement in climbing.

Equity Steering Group - Terms or Reference

Technical, Training and Youth
The BMC Technical Committee is a long-standing group of engineers and otherwise technically minded outdoor folk who advise on aspects of mountaineering kit including equipment failures and recalls. They’re looking for new people with specific knowledge of:
• Fabrics (to cover investigations into ropes, slings &  harnesses)
• Polymers
• Metallurgy
• Online publications
• Photography and video

The BMC Training & Youth Committee organises a range of safety and good practice events and publications; they would welcome some new keen faces. The Child Safeguarding Group is a sub-committee of the Training & Youth Committee and oversees implementation of the BMC Child Protection Policy.

Technical Committee - Terms of Reference

Training & Youth Committee - Terms of Reference

Child Safeguarding Group - Terms of Reference

International Expeditions
The BMC International Committee is a group of mountaineers with considerable collective experience.  They would welcome one or two younger members, who are high standard rock climbers, ideally with some expedition experience to high/remote ranges.  The Committee is responsible for dishing out expedition grants and is running an International Expeditions Conference at Plas y Brenin in January.  Current members include Doug Scott, Pat Littlejohn, Lindsay Griffin and Ian Parnell.

International Committee - Terms of Reference

The rarefied world climbing guidebooks is home to some of the BMC’s more eccentric and enthusiastic volunteers.  The production process relies on a host of individuals (for route checking, crag photography, proof reading, etc) and the Committee would benefit from one or two people with publishing experience or associated skills.

Guidebook Committee - Terms of Reference

What is the commitment?

The Specialist Committees tend to meet 2-4 times per year, usually in the evenings (6.30 – 9.30pm) at the BMC office in Manchester.  There is inevitable email correspondence between meetings although this is rarely too onerous.  Each Committee is serviced by a member of the BMC’s technical staff.  Travel expenses are paid by the BMC. 

What next?

An application process will apply to some of these positions but in the first instance if you’re interested and want to know more email kate@thebmc.co.uk with a brief note stating your particular interest or expertise; we will arrange for a relevant member of staff or one of our volunteers to get back to you very shortly.

The deadline registering your interest is Friday 4 January 2013.

Other volunteer opportunities:

Area Committees
Several of the BMC’s Area groups (Area Meetings as we call them) are on the lookout for new officials so if you fancy taking on the Chair or Secretary roles in London or the North West do get in touch.

BMC Area information on the BMC Community website

A note about the Board of Directors
Things are also changing at the very top of the BMC.  Next year we will be adding two or three ‘independent’ directors to the BMC Executive Committee; more of this next year but do watch this space.  We’re likely to be looking for individuals with relevant business / commercial expertise or perhaps a marketing guru.

Further reading:

The BMC Annual Report provides details of the main activities of the specialist committees and working groups.

Download the BMC Annual Report 2011


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The BMC is sad to announce the death of Nick Bond, a long-serving BMC volunteer, who passed away on Monday 10 July following a brave battle against lung cancer.
Read more »

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