Mike is a Student Rep on the Clubs Committee and more recently has been working with the team as part of the Organisational Development Group.
Are you a climber or a hill walker?
I guess I'd describe myself as a climber. I'm a bit of a jack of all trades, I think one of the best things about climbing for me is the variety if you don't limit yourself to either indoor/outdoor, or trad/sport/bouldering/winter/alpine etc. I first got into the outdoors going hillwalking in the Lakes with my Dad, and still enjoy doing this from time to time too.
What is the highlight of your climbing/hill walking/mountaineering?
So many highlights! Standing on the summit of the Matterhorn is an obvious one, the feeling like you're floating way above everything else around is like no other. The amazing feeling after succeeding on my first multi-day project in El Chorro. Mostly though, the best bits I remember are the good times with good friends that come alongside the climbing, the big days doing long, easy routes, eating fish and chips on the beach after a perfect day on Portland or having a beer round the fire in the evening.
Why did you choose to get involved with the BMC?
I'd been part of running my uni club on and off for four years when we got an email from the BMC asking for volunteers. I hadn't really realised by then that there was a volunteer network supporting clubs, and had no idea what was involved. I figured that I'd picked up a fair bit of knowledge about running a club that might be useful to share with others, so I just thought I'd give it a go and see what happened.
What do you do at the BMC and what impact has this had?
I'm one of two Student Reps on the Clubs Committee. We've been focusing on making the role more visible and hands on with clubs, and using our experience to offer help and advice when they need it. We've been really keen to get clubs more engaged with what the BMC does to support them, and have been trying to reach out in new ways using social media and starting to run online webinars for committees. Hopefully student club committees are starting to notice the difference!
Recently, I've been involved with the Organisational Development Group, and have been putting together a Clubs Strategy to evolve how the BMC works with affiliated clubs over the next few years. It's been a really interesting process reaching out to clubs and making sure that what we do properly aligns to their needs and gives clubs the benefit of being able to work more closely together. The next few years should be an exciting period for clubs.
What would you recommend to people looking to volunteer at the BMC?
Just go for it and get involved! There is so much scope for people to bring their own ideas and skills, you can really make a role your own and make your mark. If there's something you care about in climbing/walking or want to see something change, then jump in and make it happen
To find out more about the clubs committee please read our 'Behind the Scenes' article on clubs.
If you would like to know more about the work of the Organisational Development Group, please head to the ODG website.
This year we are celebrating Volunteers' Week (1-7 June) by highlighting the incredible and dedicated work of our volunteers through a series of volunteer stories. Each day we will be publishing a short written interview with a volunteer so you can get to know a little more about the essential role they play in the work of the BMC.
Day One: Stephen Quinton
Day Two: Mike Spooner
Day Three: Graeme Hill
Day Four: Andrew Higson, Mental Health and the Outdoors
Day Five: Updated volunteer info pages and NEW Volunteering Handbook
Fill out our Training Needs Survey and let us know what we can do to improve.
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