Meet the team

"An organisation is as good as its vision and the team who deliver on that vision. If you want to get something challenging done you can't go far wrong with a British Exploring team member, or one of our exceptional volunteer Leaders" - Amazon 2016 leadership team

"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 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 Expedition Recruitment & Partnerships

– Jack Kirby-Lowe

Jack comes to the British Exploring Society after seven years at The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, where he was responsible for establishing and fostering working partnerships with various organisations that support young people across several London boroughs. Jack benefitted from many exciting and adventurous opportunities as a young person and is motivated by a desire to ensure that other young people can benefit from the same chances he had.

As Head of Expedition Recruitment & Engagement, Jack is responsible for getting young people onto the expeditions British Exploring provide as well as ensuring they continue to meaningfully engage with the organisation as members of the Society afterwards.

In his spare time, Jack enjoys writing, football and music and tolerates long-distance running.

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 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.

Marketing Communications Manager                           

– Steve Jones

Steve joined British Exploring Society in June 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.

PR and Communications Manager                                                  

– Anouk Jacob

Anouk joined British Exploring Society in September 2018 bringing with her 15 years of PR experience. She has worked in different countries and on multiple sectors from healthcare to sporting events to technology. Her goals are to further enhance the reputation of British Exploring Society, engage more young explorers to join the expeditions and simply create new excitement within the ecosystem.

Anouk is deeply convinced of the healing powers of nature and also of the transformative potential of challenging oneself in remote locations. She has climbed Kilimanjaro, spent time trekking in the Andes, survived alone in the midst of the Amazon and in other inaccessible locations, done numerous silent mediation retreats in India and elsewhere, and in all sorts of conditions and much more. She believes that empowerment is accomplished through introspective effort and that gaining knowledge is cultivated in these types of surroundings which will bring lifelong skill sets that give meaning and a “raison d’etre”.

Anouk is also a Health Coach and Yoga teacher.

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.

Expeditions Assistant                        

– Alina Luiza Ion              

Being born in a country known for its majestic mountains, wild forests and breath-taking scenery (Romania), it wasn`t hard for Alina to discover her love for travelling and exploring the beautiful places of our world. She speaks five languages and she has lived in several places in Europe and Africa: Rome gave her the best lessons in history and understanding of our civilisation, Milan offered her a very professional approach to her work, Sicily the love for exquisite cuisine and human relationships.

But none of these places challenged her as much as the year she has spent in Burkina Faso. That was the definitory year in her formation as an adult, taking her not only to amazing places or in the company of superb people, but to the edge of her inner self. She left the corporate world and worked for an Italian charity that through hardships and struggle has built two schools and a water well in a remote village in Burkina Faso, but also helped hundreds of kids go to school, setting up connections with others to lend a helping hand for a lot of children in Burkina Faso.

She joined BES in 2017 and her passion for travel, exploring and helping others is reflected in her job as an Expeditions and General Office Assistant. Her knowledge and analytical mind, are the tools that made Alina an important member of our team. Adding here her love for music, reading and pleasure of living, Alina is the East European jewel in the Crown of British Exploring Society.

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

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.


– 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 English teacher, and during her 5 years there Laura took every opportunity to travel and explore Japan as well as backpacked extensively around South East Asia.

In her spare time, Laura teaches yoga and Nordic Walking helping inactive adults to discover the joy of being active outdoors, dances to 70s disco, loves cycling around London, and in her heart of hearts yearns to be in the mountains.