We are fortunate to be supported by an exceptionally talented board of trustees, who kindly donate their time and expertise to ensure that British Exploring receives the support it needs to continue along the right path and thrive as an organisation. All of our trustees bring with them a highly impressive background in business and as a collective they serve a vital role in ensuring that as a team we are working towards our aims and overall goals within youth development and expedition.
Read more about Doug here
Doug was a Young Explorer on the Society’s 1995 expedition to the Wrangell-St Elias mountain range in Alaska. He has been on many expeditions since then, mainly to the polar regions, including skiing to the South Pole from the Ronne-Filchner ice shelf in 2008/9. Doug currently works for investment company Fram. He has sat on the boards of many companies, predominantly across the healthcare, leisure and financial services industries. Doug joined the Society’s Council in 2009 and serves as its Chairman.
Read more about Rupert here
Rupert is a chartered accountant, financial entrepreneur, internet investor and ex-TA soldier who has spent most of his career in Asia, living in Hong Kong and Japan. He understands the positive impact of exploration on young people having been on his first, two month, expedition to Aldabra Atoll as a 16 year old. A love of adventure has taken him climbing in the Himalaya, Japan Alps and Antarctica, skippering a yacht across the Atlantic to Cuba, crossing the Sahara on local trucks and paddling up the Congo in a dugout canoe. The Eastwood family provides the Alexander Eastwood Award to encourage the participation on expedition of former YEs and members of University Officer Training Corps.
Read more about Soo here
Soo is based in Cumbria but travels extensively for work. She established a new leadership and management company in 2014 with colleagues from Cranfield University. They work with a diverse set of clients, both individuals and organisations, using a conscious, mindful and transformational approach. She first became involved with British Exploring in 1987 and has remained involved ever since, always as a leader. She brings to the Society her practical expedition experience along with her current leadership work and background in outdoor education, underpinned by her belief in the potential of young people
Read more about Jane here
Jane Park-Weir is a solicitor who works in London and lives in Hampshire with her husband and very young family. She is a Member of British Exploring, having completed her first expedition in 1995 (Alaska) and taken part in various other mountainous and arctic trips since. Jane has maintained contact with the Society over the past 20 years, briefly working as an intern a few years ago and most recently providing assistance in relation to legal issues. She is keen to ensure that other young people can benefit from the same opportunities that she had for personal development on a British Exploring expedition and is particularly excited about the DNG programme.
Read more about Michael here
Mike is passionate about the development of young people. His love of the outdoors was first ignited at a local education authority outdoor education centre when he was in primary school and has continued ever since. He’s held various roles in his career, including Head of Children and Young People’s services at Brathay, national strategic lead for youth services for one the UK’s biggest children’s charities, and he served for several years as an Ofsted inspector. He’s been a mountain rescue team member for over twenty years and is currently the team leader of Patterdale MRT, one of the busiest UK teams. He founded and runs a not for profit social enterprise, Indigo Children’s Services, which provides specialist improvement services to the children’s services and education sector. In his spare time he’s a director of a multi-academy trust and is currently well on his way to gaining a helicopter pilot’s license.
Read more about Patrick here
Patrick held a range of technical and executive positions in Shell, starting as a junior exploration geologist in Bangladesh. His assignments took him to diverse and exciting locations including Tanzania, the Sultanate of Oman, Nigeria, Syria, Ukraine and most recently the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he held the position of Country Chairman.
In March 2017, after 33 years with Shell, Patrick decided to return home to Belgium and dedicate some of his time to charity – including consulting at the British Exploring Society.
Patrick believes in a healthy lifestyle and is passionate about sports, the outdoors and travelling. He is a keen runner and is also fond of skiing, biking, hiking, horseback riding and motor sports.
Read more about John here
John is the co-founder of Inflexion Private Equity, an investment business based in London.
John is keen to see young people getting the chance to make the most of their potential. As such, he has been a longstanding supporter of The Prince's Trust, Outward Bound and more recently British Exploring.
He also loves exploring, trekking and generally being in the mountains. He feels privileged to have enjoyed campfires with family or friends and sleeping under canvas on five continents. He is married to Catherine and they have three children, all of whom have earned their Gold DofE!
Read more about Carolyn here
Carolyn has worked in marketing for over 20 years, including at the National Trust, British Museum and currently Art Fund, often taking special responsibility for developing and growing membership schemes. She has extensive experience in developing brands, fundraising, commercial partnerships, market research and marketing communications.
Read more about Deidre here
Deidre Sorensen is both a corporate strategy consultant and a travel documentary photographer with a passion for off the beaten path travel and the great outdoors. Originally from Canada, she has lived and/or worked on six continents and travelled to all seven, seeking out remote landscapes and the fascinating cultures that inhabit them. Deidre is also an avid eclipse chaser, having witnessed and photographed eight total solar eclipses all over the world, from Mongolia and Uganda to Libya and Arctic Norway. Deidre is a full member of the Association of Photographers, a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a graduate of INSEAD’s MBA programme. Deidre joined the British Exploring Council in 2014.
Read more about Joanna here
Joanna is an alumni of our Stellar programme and a Masters student at Imperial College, studying Science Communication. She loved her time on the Stellar Leadership Development programme in 2015 and was keen to become a 'young voice' on the board of Trustees, to add a fresh, alumni and student perspective. She has a love of travel and is passionate about giving other young people the chance to develop their sense of self, and self-confidence through the unique experience of expeditioning.
Read more about Toby here
Toby joined AQA in 2017. He was previously Chief Executive of Ormiston Academies Trust, which sponsors 38 academies across England, with responsibility for 26,000 students and 3,500 staff. Prior to that, Toby was Deputy Chief Executive at the National College for School Leadership, an executive agency providing leadership development and policy advice for schools and ministers.
Toby has worked in a variety of education leadership roles, including as Executive Head of a federation of three schools, and has led schools to achieve ‘outstanding’ gradings under Ofsted. In 2000, he was appointed by the Prime Minister as Director of the Department for Education’s Innovation Unit to lead innovation in school practices and structures.
He has also held a number of voluntary and non-executive director roles including appointment to the Cabinet Office Innovators’ Council and as a board member of UCAS.
He is a visiting professor of education leadership at the University of Wolverhampton; a member of All Souls Group, Oxford; and a member of the Windsor Leadership Trust Chief Executives’ working group.