HQ staff

"Our team is dedicated to giving young people a life-transforming opportunity to discover how capable they are by developing uniquely ambitious expeditions for them all over the World. As you would expect, they are a pretty able bunch themselves. They are practical & problem-solving, energetic, good-humoured, ethically driven, positive, open-minded & collegiate....and modest. So they'll hate this introduction." - Honor Wilson-Fletcher, CEO British Exploring 

Chief Executive Officer                                    

– Honor Wilson-Fletcher MBE

Honor joined British Exploring Society as CEO in February 2016. She was previously CEO for 6 years at the Aldridge Foundation where she helped establish 12 state schools in some of the most deprived parts of England. This is when she had her first opportunity to take part in, and see the positive impact of, challenging overseas adventures with young people.

She started two businesses of her own in her twenties - one whilst at college. She then had a happy career in bookselling and publishing working at organisations including Penguin Books, Waterstone’s and with BOL.com before jumping the fence to the world of not-for-profits. She has since worked as a Director at the British Museum, Southbank Centre and the National Literacy Trust. She has served as a charitable trustee since her twenties with organisations as diverse as the Edinburgh Book Fair and Enabling Enterprise and is now on the board of social business Catch-22.

Honor lives in the South Downs.

Head of Expeditions and Strategic Operations

– Caroline Hodges

After completing a degree in Philosophy at UCL, Caroline followed her passion for travel into a career in the Gap Year and Adventure Travel industry.

Over the past 5 years Caroline has done everything from marketing summer camps in the United States to setting up volunteer programmes in Kenya but a main theme throughout her work has been supporting disadvantaged young people to take up challenging and educational experiences overseas.

Caroline joined British Exploring in September 2010 as manager of the British Exploring Outreach programme – The Dangoor Next Generation Programme and is now Head of Expeditions and Strategic Operations.

Head of Fundraising                           

– Jess Ritchie

Jess joined British Exploring Society as our Head of Fundraising in 2017. With 12 years’ experience within fundraising roles in the charitable sector, Jess has worked for a variety of charities including Tiny Tickers, Prisoners Abroad, Action for Children and the Refugee Council. Jess is passionate about helping others and alongside her professional work also volunteers for a number of local initiatives in her home town of Croydon and the charity Spread Some Sunshine.

Jess has travelled through Asia and Australia, before making Australia her home for a number of years. Jess believes BES offers something very unique, and transformative, not only through amazing overseas expeditions but also the intense UK training that starts to build the skills that young people can keep for life.

In her spare time jess is a personal trainer but can mostly be found in play parks with her son.

Expeditions and Strategic Operations Manager

- Tom Blindell

Tom joined British Exploring in 2013 to further a career in outdoor education and support young people to access the hugely beneficial experiences that expeditions can offer. A Sport Science & Outdoor Activities graduate, Tom brings with him a wealth of education experience from both school and expedition sectors and significant field leadership experience in Latin America and Africa particularly.

With much of his childhood spent joining the school expeditions his father ran all over the UK and Europe, Tom has been brought up on the benefits of outdoor learning and is a strong believer in the positive impact challenging expeditions can have on personal development. As a key member of the Expeditions Team, Tom takes a strategic lead on the planning and delivery of a number of our expeditions. He is responsible for the design and management of many of our operational processes, ensuring that our expeditions meet our organisational aims, and are delivered to the highest standard.

Despite living in London, he spends as much time as he can in the outdoors - mountaineering, white water kayaking, climbing and adventure racing, whilst also enjoying tennis, cycling, football and triathlons closer to home.

Head of Community, Impact and Systems

- Kate Suart

Kate joined British Exploring Society as our Head of Recruitment and Engagement at the beginning of 2019. Her previous roles involved helping young people develop the key skills needed for a successful future and connecting them with opportunities in the financial services. She is passionate about working with young people from less advantaged backgrounds and ensuring they have access to opportunities that can change their lives.

Growing up in South Africa, Kate has a deep love for the outdoors, travelling and sport. Her childhood was spent tracking animals in safari parks, hiking with her family and exploring the beauty that South Africa has to offer. The first expedition she went on at the age of twelve, was across Southern Africa for two months. Kate had the opportunity to camp in the wild and support her dad on how to navigate flooding rivers and the desert of Namibia with no roads. In her spare time, Kate enjoys traveling to places to experience unique landscapes and cultures, cycling (not only to work but in the country as well), hiking, practicing improvised drama on stage and yoga.

Project & Innovation Manager                                  

– Clover Heather

Clover joined the team as our Project & Innovations Manager in 2019. She has 20 years of experience as a Manufacturing Systems Engineer, specifying, developing and integrating systems for companies producing a wide range of products from plasters to spacecraft. This role combines those skills with her passion for supporting young adults.

When she’s not in the office she can usually be found in the Great British’ countryside, either on a hill, kayaking along a river or poring over a map (she loves a good map). More often than not she will be accompanied by some of the 70+ Explorer Scouts, that she oversees and encourages in her role as District Explorer Scout Commissioner.

Clover is also a Duke of Edinburgh Award Leader and has supported many young people through this award. She is a strong believer in leading by example and as such has spent many an hour over hill, on water and under canvas.

In any spare time after this she enjoys foraging, and cooking and brewing from nature.

Marketing Communications Manager                           

– Steve Jones

Steve joined British Exploring Society in 2016 as the team’s Digital Marketing Specialist and has since taken on the role of Marketing Communications Manager. Steve has put his marketing and digital skills to use through a variety of marketing roles, including working on European funded projects, a sports marketing agency and a Local Council’s Leisure and Culture team.

Having completed his own self-organised expeditions for a charitable cause, including a 3-month cycling, hiking and canoeing challenge in South America, Steve knows through his own experiences the value of exploring as a means for personal development and is proud to be able to support others doing the same with BES.

In his free time Steve enjoys running, trekking, cycling and is always looking for his next challenge.

Expeditions Coordinator                                      

– Beau Zilesnick

Beau joined British Exploring in 2014 as Communications Assistant and is now Schools Coordinator. Before joining British Exploring he studied Geography at the University of Exeter. He is responsible for organising and promoting the Society to schools around the UK.

He has most recently returned from expedition with us as a leader in the Peruvian Amazon; outside of work he enjoys cycling, travelling and photography.

Expeditions Coordinator                                                               

– Eddie Golding

Eddie joined British Exploring Society in 2018 as an Expeditions Coordinator. He brings to the role experience as a secondary school geography teacher and a firm belief in the value of outdoor education. He has previously worked as an operational manager at a major UK airline and in central government.

Young people have so much to gain from challenging themselves in the outdoors and Eddie is motivated by being able to help young people develop and reach their potential regardless of their background. As a geographer he can’t help but be excited about sharing his love for geography, the planet and our place in it with others. Eddie’s favourite country is Iceland and he is obsessed with maps. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, cooking and photography.

Membership Officer                                                  

– Sam Drawbridge

Sam joined British Exploring Society in September 2018, having previously worked in the corporate world for a number of years and most recently at an international development charity. His background is in delivering marketing and member communications.

He believes in the transformative nature of expeditions, when you take young people outside of their comfort zone and away from the day to day distractions of everyday life, having witnessed it himself first hand.

An avid climber, mountaineer and all-round adventure seeker, Sam never feels more at home than when out on some far-flung, remote mountain range or dangling off the edge of a cliff somewhere.

Trusts Manager                                                  

–Kelley Parfitt

Kelley joined British Exploring Society as our Trusts Manager in August 2019. She is a member of the Institute of Fundraising and has an MA in Conflict, Development and Security Studies. After completing a graduate placement with Oxfam Campaigns in 1999, she has spent the past twenty years in PR, marketing and fundraising manager roles mainly with international development charities as well as Scope and Women’s Aid.

She particularly likes the work of BES having felt the personal benefits of experiencing new cultures: she spent her childhood growing up in Borneo, South Korea and Singapore and has travelled through India and Nepal as a young adult.

Kelley has an allotment and loves encouraging wildlife and growing organic vegetables. She also volunteers for a cat rescue in Nottingham where she transports cats and kittens to the safety of foster homes.

Expedition Training and leadership Advisor

- James Dyer

James joined British Exploring at Operations Manager in 2011. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, a Leading Practitioner of the Institute for Outdoor Learning and has a long career in expedition leadership and management. James has since taken on the role of Expedition Training and leadership Advisor and is responsible for advising on appropriate leadership recruitment and skills for our trainee leaders and Leaders, as well as the development of leadership training resources. He enjoys mountaineering, mountain biking, canoeing, and the occasional game of golf

Explorer Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator

– Holly Burns

Holly joined British Exploring Society in the summer of 2019 as Explorer Recruitment and Engagement Coordinator. An Adventure Tourism Management graduate, Holly’s previous roles have included working as a Youth Worker and Youth Development Officer in the Scottish Highlands to teaching snowboarding around Europe and New Zealand. Holly is passionate about working with young people in the outdoor industry and believes that every young person should be entitled to the same opportunities no matter their background.

Holly trained as a Snowboard Instructor and chased winter for six seasons after university between the French Alps and New Zealand. Growing up in Scotland, Holly has always had a love for the outdoors and activities such as snowboarding, climbing, mountaineering and wild camping have taken her to many new places such as France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, New Zealand and Canada. Holly has found the outdoors to be a great way to inspire, motivate and educate and is passionate about working with young people to ensure they have access to experiences that will change their lives.

Archivist Assistant                                  

– Tony Harpur

Tony Harpur joined British Exploring as Archivist Assistant in 2014. He worked as an oil trader and Arabist in the oil industry for Shell, BP and Vitol for 33 years. Since retiring in 2011, he has gained a Mountain Leader qualification and been a leader on four expeditions.

Tony works one afternoon per week supporting the Archivist. Additionally, he volunteers with Ramblers Worldwide Holidays by organising skiing and walking holidays. In his spare time, he enjoys tennis, running, skiing, chess and reading.

Expedition Administration Officer                                                  

– Katherine Maundrell

Having studied mathematics with French and after some time spent traveling in Africa and Australasia, Katherine returned to the UK and began a career in finance. Five years and 3 countries later she moved away from the corporate world and into that of group activities trips, utilising her language skills and finance experience as centre administrator on a campsite in Normandy. This led to 4 years in the head office managing centre finances.

Katherine had her first taste of expeditions and their developmental value in Namibia, 2005. Since that time she has consistently been on the lookout for the next adventure, be that coral reef surveying, desert trekking or canoe paddling. She is very pleased to have joined British Exploring Society in October 2018 and hopes that she can facilitate for others the kind of challenging learning opportunities she has herself been lucky enough to experience.

She loves to visit new places and appreciates the benefits of occasionally going beyond your comfort zone. Katherine enjoys scuba diving, music, dabbling in languages and rugby.


– Justin Warwick

Justin joined British Exploring's office team in 2003 and was appointed Archivist in 2006. Justin was also a member of the 1954 Quebec Expedition. Justin studied Mechanical Engineering at Imperial College, became a Chartered Engineer following Post Graduate Studies. Upon retirement in 2003 he began a part-time History of Science M.Sc at Imperial College.

Justin has an enjoyable task digitising the archives and supervising the construction of the Archives website. In his spare time he enjoys sailing, travelling, eating good food and spending time with his granddaughter.

Finance Officer                                                                

– Laura Kinnunen

Laura absolutely believes in the transformative power of exploration and overseas experience on the development of young people, and was therefore over the moon to have been able to escape the City and the grey suits to join British Exploring in December 2015. At British Exploring Laura looks after the day to day finance matters, helps Honor, our CEO, to keep to her busy schedule and helps out with the Programmes team whenever possible!

Having grown up in Central Finland surrounded by lakes and forests as far as the eye could see, Laura has loved being outdoors exploring her surroundings from an early age. Having studied dance and languages in high school, Laura moved to the UK to study English and Japanese at university. An exchange year to Japan in 2001 lead to her living and working in rural Japan as high school

Steve joined British Exploring Society in 2016 as the team’s Digital Marketing Specialist and has since taken on the role of Marketing Communications Manager. Steve has put his marketing and digital skills to use through a variety of marketing roles, including working on European funded projects, a sports marketing agency and a Local Council’s Leisure and Culture team.

Having completed his own self-organised expeditions for a charitable cause, including a 3-month cycling, hiking and canoeing challenge in South America, Steve knows through his own experiences the value of exploring as a means for personal development and is proud to be able to support others doing the same with BES.

In his free time Steve enjoys running, trekking, cycling and is always looking for his next challenge.