South Devon College have been celebrating the reopening of tourism and hospitality businesses across Torbay and beyond. Outdoor activity and adventure centres have suffered a massive blow from Covid restrictions, and it’s vital we now support this vital industry in getting back on track to provide health benefits and also local employment opportunities. Ben Roper, Programme Coordinator for UCSD’s Higher Education Sports and Adventure programmes, reflects on opportunities at all levels, whether you’re thinking of starting something new, or upskilling your staff.
Time spent in the great outdoors is proven to improve your physical and mental health. It can decrease stress and relieve tension for a variety of different groups. Risk taking and connection with nature are an integral part of any outdoor experience and can help to develop self confidence and self-esteem. These benefits manifest themselves in everyday life.
Being a leader in the outdoors provides you with the opportunity to encourage others and enable them to receive these benefits whilst you also benefit yourself. When leading in this setting there are multiple opportunities to engage and developing authentic connections with others through shared experiences. Leaders can inspire others to achieve more than they thought possible themselves. Not only can you develop your connection with them but also their connection with others in different settings, watching many children, young people and adults to learn and grow.
Connection also extends to the space and place these experiences take place in. With the fantastic location we live in, with the English Riviera designated a UNESCO Global Geo Park, and the Dartmoor National Parks, there is no better place to connect with nature. This connection can provide unique experiences and developing understanding of our impact and our role in protecting and looking after areas we co-exist with nature.
At South Devon College there is a wide range of training pathways, including degree level study, you can follow to upskill yourself to work in these settings. Employers looking to upskill their staff might be interested in the new Level 5 Higher Apprenticeship in Outdoor Leadership.
To find out more about apprenticeships in Outdoor Leadership, visit the College’s University Centre website www.ucsd.ac.uk.