18 Oct 2016

The Outdoor Partnership held their annual Outdoor Festival again this year and it was very well received by members of the affiliated clubs that came along to try out the range of outdoor activities and skills development workshops that were on offer.

A well earned BBQ was also put on to finish off the day (although it came inside due to our lovely Welsh weather!)

All the outdoor activities were run by instructors from various clubs in the North Wales area. All the instructors do this on a voluntary basis along with support from The Outdoor Partnership staff. The outdoor activities ranged from climbing and bouldering to sub aqua to canoe slalom - there was something for everyone to take part in and completely reflects the Partnerships mission 'to improve opportunities for more local people in Wales to achieve their potential through outdoor activities.'

The Outdoor Partnership is developing more opportunities for disabled people to access their natural resources to improve their health and economic wellbeing. The Partnership are working towards making all their activities inclusive.

Simon Phillips who is a volunteer instructor at Clwb Mynydda Môn (Anglesey Climbing Club) was more than happy to be part of the Outdoor Festival as a volunteer. 'What's not to like? I'm here showing people how to climb, something I'm very passionate about. It's great that The Outdoor Partnership put on the Outdoor Festival every year so that people can have a taste of a variety of outdoor activities for free and in a safe environment.'

Tracey Evans, Chief Executive Officer has been working with Nia Ramage, Event Volunteering Co-ordinator, to explore systems for improving communication and the management of volunteer data by tracking experience and qualifications and targeting communication.'It's taken a little bit longer than we first anticipated to reach the point where the Bilingual Volunteer Management Software was ready to pilot so we couldn't use it to recruit volunteers for The Outdoor Festival as planned. However, we've identified another event, a kayaking competition, and will be asking volunteers to sign up using the new bilingual system.'

A volunteer commented 'I'm really pleased that we'll be able to sign up to volunteering opportunities through the medium of Welsh - it's great to have the choice. I'm hoping this is something that will take off and I look forward to hearing about it in the near future.'

After lunch at the Outdoor Festival Simon Jones, Volunteer Officer at The Outdoor Partnership took the opportunity to present the Volunteer of the Year Award - this recognises the commitments and dedication that the volunteer gives to their club. Without the outstanding work and support from the volunteers the outdoor activity clubs would not exist.

Lee Oliver from Clwb Padlo Dwyfor (Dwyfor Paddling Club) and Clwb Syrffio Llŷn (Llyn Surfing Club) was honoured to receive the Award, 'this means so much to me - I enjoy every moment of running the two clubs and seeing people's enjoyment means the world to me. I couldn't do it without the support of the staff at The Outdoor Partnership - they truly are amazing!'.

Volunteering Spirit Wales is a 2 year project funded by Spirit of 2012 which aims to improve the quality of volunteer involvement in public events. It is focussing on different aspects of volunteer management through six pilot studies undertaken with partner organisations and involving six different events around Wales.

For more information please get in touch with Nia Ramage: nramage@wcva.org.uk