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​Lara Frith Williams : My experience with Outdoor Partnership

Posted on September 12th, 2017

I first heard about the Outdoor Partnership from a climbing instructor in Caernarfon in October 2016 who told me to contact them after me telling them I really wanted to pursue a career as a mountain leader but being a lone parent to four children and being unemployed was finding saving the money to pay for the training and assessment near impossible.  

I contacted and spoke to Owain Williams who, given I was claiming Job Seekers at the time gave me a space on a ten week course he was running.  We met twice a week and he gave me loads of help with map reading and the use of a compass and learning to use the pacing and timing skills.  

The first few weeks I spent with Owain gave me a massive boost in confidence and by the tenth week I had found employment with the YHA.  This was my first job in 13 years!  Owain provided the funding for my ML training and during this week the trainer, Paul Poole told me I should just go for it in terms of the assessment saying I had proven myself quite capable during the training week.  So I went for it and booked the assessment for five months later.  I did some voluntary work for a company called GOLondon gaining valuable leadership and group management experience. I also was given the opportunity to work as a trainee for a couple of companies but specifically a company called Breese Adventures and the support I received from the two owners was invaluable.  I would not have had the confidence to approach these companies and ask before I attended Owain’s ten week course.  

I spent every spare minute I had on the mountains practising my navigation and studying and on 7th August I passed my assessment.   I have since begun setting up a mountain adventure company called Anturiaethau Mynyddoedd Eryri, Snowdonia Mountain Adventures whilst still freelancing for companies such as RAW Adventures, Breese Adventures, GO London and Active Challenge.

The one phone call to Outdoor Partnership has changed my life completely.  The confidence I developed at the ten week course with Owain was invaluable!  He helped me develop the confidence to believe that I could achieve my goal and after months of hard work I did.  I cannot thank him and the Outdoor Partnership for financing my training and assessment enough.