The most important ingredient of leadership is character. Most of the proficiencies can be learned, but what’s inside you is something that’s difficult to change – Jesse Robredo
At Kings we deliver character and leadership education through various programmes such as Outdoor Education, our own bespoke leadership curriculum and through enrichment for example our Combined Cadet Force.
Previous to taking my role at Kings, I worked as a freelance outdoor instructor running Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, National Citizenship Service (NCS) outdoor residentials and leading on Prince’s Trust outdoor residentials.
My love for the outdoors began when I was young, growing up in a rural area of North Wales, I have mountains on my doorstep and woodlands at the bottom of the garden. It wasn’t till I joined the Royal Air Force Air Cadets at the age of 13 that I met similar minded people and was able to experience expeditions and adventure training camps, pushing me out of my comfort zone and getting involved in rock climbing, paddling and many more.
I left the Air cadets at 18 and later returned at the age of 21 to become a Cadet Forces Adult Volunteer. During my brief time away from the organisation I got involved with a youth exchange to former Yugoslavia. This involved groups from the UK, Serbia, Croatia, Kosovo, Roumania and Bulgaria coming together in each other countries, experiencing different cultures and running workshops and activities on involvement in the European union. This was my first time abroad and really helped develop and shape my character.
I later followed my passion for the outdoors and developing young people and worked as a senior activity instructor before later becoming a youth worker and attending University to gaining a degree in Youth and Community Work. Here I worked with disengaged and demotivated young people from homeless background working on their personal development and eventually getting them back in to education, employment or training with the aim of them being successful, active citizens and leaders in their own communities.
In my own time I volunteered with the RAFAC as a Cadet Forces Adult Volunteer. As I developed, I broadened my pashing for the outdoors and got involved in the Duke of Edinburgh’s award, shooting and marksmanship and leadership. These activities really push young people’s boundaries from the impossible to the possible, and allows them to develop character and develop soft and hard skills that make them future leaders and active citizens.
In 2016 I became a freelance Outdoor Instructor, working for a number on companies running outdoor and personal development residentials and programmes. This is how I first became involved with Kings, supporting the Duke of Edinburgh’s award. I was instantly impressed with the programmes on offer and the school’s ethos and values being taught and fitted with everything that I have be endeavouring to achieve through out my working career.
When in 2019 the opportunity to join the Personal Development Team came up I jumped at the chance of being involved and even developing the delivery of high-quality Leadership and character education here at Kings and the wider opportunities in The Great Schools Trust.
“The mountains are calling, I must go” – John Muir