OUTDOOR adventure specialist Active 4 Seasons has been awarded a three year license at the first time of trying to offer outdoor adventure activities to school groups.
It is a fantastic achievement for former Ford Castle worker Ollie Jay given that he is a sole trader and many bigger organisations only get a one or two year license, especially at their first attempt.
He was made redundant by Northumberland County Council last year when they closed Ford Castle so decided to go it alone and set up Active 4 Seasons as a full time business offering adventure activities to schools and youth groups.
“We would like to offer Northumberland’s schools, colleges and youth groups the outdoor service they deserve,” he said. “With the support of the health and safety department at county we want to get more youngsters out enjoying the great outdoors safely and responsibly.
“We can offer one off sessions or ideally developmental learning in the outdoors. We are happy to come to schools and youth groups to discuss your needs and help develop a course or expedition that suits your particular group.”
Ollie has been offering adventure activity guided trips and coaching to the general public and holiday-makers visiting the area for the last 13 years and is the most experienced outdoor activity guide in the area. The three year license reflects Ollie’s experience in this area.
He has also been on expeditions in the last few years to other areas of the world to help develop his knowledge and understanding of both the natural world and the way in which people react to the wilder environment.
He has sea kayaked along the inside passage of Alaska from Canada into Alaska encountering both whales and bears, kayaked off the Moroccan coast South of Casablanca in big Atlantic swell then cycled cross country to Marrakesh.
He has also spent time discovering the fantastic Scottish coast with a trip round the Orkney Island of Hoy from the mainland across the Pentland firth and back and also a little trip to Northern Ireland from the Island of Islay a distance of 40kms.
Ollie is now working with a number of local accommodation providers who cater for both school groups and families. There are various price options and Active 4 Seasons is offering both adventure activities and field studies or ecology programmes or indeed a mix of both.
Activities include open canoeing, rock climbing, off road cycling, hillwalking and mountaineering and kayaking. Using only mature and highly qualified instructors Active 4 Seasons want to continue offering high class outdoor education to all.
Ollie is a qualified teacher with a degree in Exercise and Health who trained in secondary education but has worked with younger groups whilst working as the full time tutor at Ford Castle for the last nine years. He is also a member of the Institute for Outdoor Learning (IoL).
His success can be seen in some of the testominals he has received from satisfied customers.
A local middle school who went on a three day outdoor activities residential at Wooler Youth Hostel said: “We all had a fabulous time and as group leader I felt we were all in safe hands. I will definitely be booking with you again.”
He also offers team bonding adventures, ideal for 6 - 12 people.
Here is a testimonial from a business in Newcastle: “The team at Carlin Hall would like to say a big thank you to Ollie Jay of Active4Seasons for our recent teambuilding day that Ollie organized and facilitated.
“We contacted Ollie as we wanted to have a team event, which was a bit different. Ollie organized a great day for us. 7 of us had a fantastic paddle along the River Tweed. Nobody in our group had canoed before and Ollie put us all at ease, whilst at the same time ensuring that our safetyand water awareness was paramount.
“Ollie explained everything very clearly, was very patient and had a great sense of humour. We had a very enjoyable and exhilarating experience, learning a new skill whilst being surrounded by nature and generally just had a fantastic day on the river.
“Ollie also organised transport for us as well as showering facilities and a meal, which made the day seamless. I would recommend Ollie to anyone that wants to enjoy an outdoor adventure activity in the hands of an experienced and enthusiastic guide.”
Contact details: Email: Ollie@active4seasons.co.uk; Website: www.active4seasons.co.uk; Mobile 07941 450064; Facebook page: Active4seasons