Skip to main content

Update from Rob, Chair

Submitted by danbyrnes on

Since the election of a new board of trustees in December, we’ve had little things called Christmas and New Year, followed by my two-week holiday in January (Norway in Winter is phenomenal!). Then, on Friday, 26th January, the new trustees, along with OutdoorLads Programme Manager, Liam, met up with reps from each of the Sub-Committees and two of our Regional Coordinators for a positive and constructive weekend, focusing our minds on delivering more great events for our membership.

Hot off the press, this is the TOP TEN things that our team of 15 volunteers and Liam came up with.

  1. As a fundamental principle, when we are working out what we need to do as a team, we will look at things through the eyes of our members. Is it the kind of thing members would want us to do? Will it keep OutdoorLads strong and relevant for future years? If ‘yes’, then these will be the topics and projects we will focus on.
  2. We agreed that there’s merit in keeping the group’s vision, mission and values pretty much unchanged as follows, but the strategy of 2022/23 has been put to bed and we’re moving on:

    VISION: “Freedom to be yourself in the outdoors”

    MISSION: “Deliver inclusive and inspiring events across the UK to improve the well-being of our gay, bi and trans community”

    VALUES: “Welcoming, adventurous, togetherness, excellence, respectful”
  3. After nearly a year of operation, the sub-committee reps proposed a reconfiguration and refresh of what they are doing. The existing four sub-committees will be reconfigured to become “Delivery”, “Sustainability” and “People”. This better matches the new board structure and, we believe, will make it much easier to work more closely with our fantastic team of Regional Coordinators – through whom so much activity on the ground depends.
  1. We will create a new “Marketing and Communications” sub-committee as this underpins everything we do – telling our members what’s going on.
  1. We’ve a great selection of themes and projects to work on which we believe and are now more aligned with our mission and values.
  1. Look out for chances to bring your skills to the fore – some of the opportunities will include specific time-limited projects and wider sub-committee roles as well as other volunteering roles in OutdoorLads.
  1. The sub-committee reps played a blinder with lots of ideas for getting more events up and running, ideas ranged from continuing to broaden the scope of events we offer (such as getting our Cultural & Heritage events off the ground) to providing even more training opportunities for members to help them develop new skills and confidence to become leaders
  1. Everyone was in agreement to improve the delegation for the sub-committees to act and provide them with relevant budgets to complete work on behalf of the members.
  1. The recent Leaders’ Survey steered a lot of discussion. We appreciate the hard work of leaders (our lifeblood). We’re listening and taking action and the findings will be discussed Regional Coordinators in the near future to provide leaders and regional coordinators more support to get events up and running.
  1. Step up awareness of the OutdoorLads Foundation so more people who might be struggling financially can get access to our events. Please take a look at this link to find out more – it’s easy to apply:

To sum up, along with the forthcoming regional coordinators’ event, we believe this will have been a great spread of members from different roles being involved in preparing our new “footpath”. The amount of consensus achieved gives us comfort that we’re taking the right compass bearing for all our members.
Look out for more updates in future issues of the members’ newsletter. If you’ve got any questions of the team from this weekend, get in touch – all of us are on the email address.

Rob Mitchell – Chair
Joe Bailey – Members’ Representative and Vice-Chair
Jake Higgins – Treasurer
Dan Blackwell – Trustee for Delivery of day events
David Norris – Trustee for members, volunteers and staff
Will Allaway – Delivery Sub-Committee
Niall Johnson – Delivery and Development SCs
Johnny Williams – Delivery SC
Luke Mills – Development SC
Tom Benians – Finance & Assurance SC
Emrys Williams – Finance & Assurance SC
Stephen Clifford – Support SC
Lewis Garth – Support SC
James Couldry – Regional Coordinator for South West and South Wales
Ian Williams – Interim RC for South East
Liam Russell – Programme Manager

Board and Subcommittees