15 Acres of Adventure in the Heart of Leicester

Friday, 3 February 2017

Our After School Club are having an Open Evening

Are you looking for Childcare with a difference?

Come and visit our Open Evening at the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre and see what we have on offer ...

Wednesday 22nd February 2017 from 4.00pm until 7.00pm

Presentations: 4:15pm, 4:45pm, 5:15pm, 6:15pm
Centre Tours:  4:30pm, 5:00pm, 5:30pm, 6:00pm, 6:30pm

Our After School Club is open to anyone aged between 5 (must be in year 1) and 16 years old, Activate Adventures is an OFSTED-registered After School Club with a difference! We offer a wide range of adventurous activities including Canoeing, Bell Boating, Raft Building, Team Games, Climbing, Zip Line, Archery, Air Rifles, and much more!

Your child can try something new, develop their skills and make new friends. The After School Club is run by fully qualified Instructors, who have all had enhanced DBS disclosures. 
Monday to Friday during term time from 3.30pm – 6pm.
Prices start from as little as £6 for the After School Club and £35 for Holiday Scheme Days.

Children in Kayaks

Children on the High Ropes Course

Children doing a Gardening session

Childres doing a climbing session

If you would like to come along, please register your interest by email asc@lopc.co.uk 
or calling the centre 0116 268 1426

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Changing Places, Changing Lives.

Sometimes you just need to change one thing to open up a world of possibility ...

Here at the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre we are having some building work done,

We started work in November building a New Changing Places Toilet that is going to make a difference to so many people who face a daily challenge just leaving their homes.

The Changing Places Consortium launched its campaign in 2006 on behalf of the over 1/4 of a million people who cannot use standard accessible toilets. This includes people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, as well as older people.

What are Changing Places Toilets?

Standard accessible toilets do not meet the needs of all people with a disability.
People with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well people with other physical disabilities such as spinal injuries, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis often need extra equipment and space to allow them to use the toilets safely and comfortably. These needs are met by Changing Places toilets. 

Each Changing Places toilet provides: 

The right equipment

- a height adjustable adult-sized changing bench
- a tracking hoist system, or mobile hoist if this is not possible.

Enough space

- adequate space in the changing area for the disabled person and up to two carers
- a centrally placed toilet with room either side 
- a screen or curtain to allow some privacy.

A safe and clean environment

- wide tear off paper roll to cover the bench
- a large waste bin for disposable pads
- a non-slip floor.

Why are Changing Places toilets important?

Thousands of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities, as well other disabilities that severely limit mobility, cannot use standard accessible toilets.
People may be limited in their own mobility so need equipment to help them or may need support from one or two carers to either get on the toilet or to have their continence pad changed.
Standard accessible toilets (or "disabled toilets") do not provide changing benches or hoists and most are too small to accommodate more than one person. 

Without Changing Places toilets, the person with disabilities is put at risk, and families are forced to risk their own health and safety by changing their loved one on a toilet floor.

This is dangerous, unhygienic and undignified.

It is now accepted and expected that everyone has a right to live in the community, to move around within it and access all its facilities. Government policy promotes the idea of "community participation" and "active citizenship," but for some people with disabilities the lack of a fully accessible toilet is denying them this right.

Although the numbers are increasing, there are still not enough Changing Places toilets across the country.

Providing these toilets in public places would make a dramatic difference to the lives of thousands of people who desperately need these facilities.

Who are they for?

Research has found that over a quarter of a million severely disabled people, including those with profound and multiple learning disabilities, do not have access to public toilet facilities that meet their needs. 

In the UK the number of people who would benefit from a Changing Places toilet would include approximately:

  • 40,000 people with profound and multiple learning disabilities
  • 130,000 older people
  • 30,000 people with cerebral palsy
  • 13,000 people with an acquired brain injury
  • 8,500 people with Multiple Sclerosis
  • 8,000 people with Spina Bifida
  • 500 people with Motor Neurone Disease
We also know that the number of people with complex disabilities is growing – we are all living longer, meaning many more people are likely to need access to a Changing Places toilet in the future.
These figures come from a report by Professor James Hogg, at the University of Dundee.

The work is expected to be complete by March 2017.

For more information about Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

For more information about Changing Places

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

8 Top Tips To help Keep Your New Year’s Resolution

Every New Year’s Eve I ask the question “Do you have a new year’s resolution?” And I’m often met with a mix of grumbles, sometimes the odd bit of sarcasm and then the occasional enthusiastic announcement of a change someone is making in their life. It is common knowledge that these are rarely kept to, and have often fizzled out of memory by February. However, there are exceptions to the rule! And I am living proof!

Some years have been more successful than others but I have found I’ve been able to make real changes in my life through New Year’s Resolutions. I like to think of them as a time to refocus my life and start working on something new that I really want to achieve. Past resolutions have included gaining new skills, qualifications and then the hardest one was having a go a stand up comedy on front of a crowd of strangers.

So here are my top 8 tips to making that New Year’s Resolution stick.

#1 Make sure it’s something you really want

I think many people make up a resolution because they think it’s something they should do. Classic ones include giving up chocolate or alcohol, not saying they aren’t perfectly good resolutions but if you don’t really want to do it you won’t. Generally all my resolutions have been something in the back of my mind that I just haven’t had the time to carry out. The change into the New Year allows me to think about how I can change my habits to allow time for a new project.

#2 Set goals

Having something to aim for is a great way to keep to your New Year’s Resolution. It’ll keep you focused and on track. Then when you’ve hit your goals you’ll get that feeling of satisfaction and be ready to set the next goal. When I wanted to change my eating habits I used a simple goal – ‘cook from a recipe book at least once a week’. When I wanted to try stand-up comedy I set myself a goal to take part in an open mic night once a month and to have started by February, (giving myself some time to prepare). The goals were simple and they were realistic. There is no point in setting your sights too high, think about what you can really achieve. If you smash it then great - move your sights a bit higher.

If you’re trying to quit smoking you could try setting your goal to continually reduce the amount of nicotine you take. If you’re trying to get fit you could have a goal at how far you want to be able to run. Then make sure you give yourself a deadline.

#3 Create a chain

This is all about changing your mind set and your lifestyle, if you can pull this off you may end up seamlessly making a big change in your life. When I want to increase my exercise and fitness I keep planning the next workout. For example, I go for a swim, then straight away afterwards I pick up my diary and plan the next time I'm going swimming, and then after the next swim I plan the next and so on. This is how I went about gaining my rock climbing qualifications, every week I’d go out rock climbing, and then immediately after I would be organising the next rock climbing trip. Keep to this and soon you’ll have changed your mentality and lifestyle. What you’re doing here is avoiding a situation where you go to the gym, congratulate yourself on making that first step, and then two weeks later think to yourself “I was meant to keep going to that”. Keep looking at the next action.

#4 Find a partner
While I was at university one of the biggest motivators for me was having someone to go running with. I remember plenty of times when my running partner would be ready to go and I couldn’t be bothered, but there was no way I was going to let him go without me. And then the same worked the other way around. Having that person to spur you on and also work with you will make the difference, particularly if you are both working to the same goals.

#5 Invest some money

This is a bit of a funny one, I think it works better for some people than others. Anyone who knows me well knows I’m quite careful with my money. So if I’ve spent some money on something I’m going to make dam sure that money isn’t wasted. Therefore if I’ve paid for gym membership I’m going to the gym (even if it’s the crack of dawn or quarter to midnight). And likewise if I’ve just invested in some expensive running shoes I’m going running. This doesn’t just have to be for fitness, you might pay for a new training course to learn a new language or a new skill.

#6 Set up reminders

This goes a little bit hand in hand with setting up a chain. One New Year’s Resolution I really struggle to keep is to read more. I never find the time and also I forget to make the time. But setting up reminders might just help to keep your mind focused on what you want to do. This could be a poster on the wall, reminders on your phone or entries in your diary. Anything that just keeps your New Year’s Resolution in the front of your mind.

#7 Reward yourself

Rewards serve two purposes. They give you that positive reinforcement that helps to spur you on and they also play a part in that goal you set. So if your goal was to go down two dress sizes, buy yourself a new dress. If it’s to be able to run 3 miles, treat yourself to a some new sport clothes/ kit. As long as the reward doesn’t pave the way into the bad habit you were trying to get out of. For example don’t reward yourself with a cigar because you quit smoking – that’ll just set you back to the beginning.

#8 Set up a final outcome

If there is an end goal to all this then you’ve got a purpose for  everything you’re trying to do. If it’s to get fit then maybe sign up to an event that you need to improve your fitness to compete in (goes hand in hand with #5). If it’s to learn French, book that France holiday now!

That’s it, just remember you don’t achieve anything without a little hard work and persistence. And remember it’ll be worth it in the end.

Incidentally if you are looking to improve your health and fitness why not take a look at our Outdoor Exercise Sessions click here for more information.

Good Luck

David Robinson
Corporate Development Officer
Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre

Monday, 14 November 2016

5 Top Tips for Getting a Job in the Outdoors

Nearly every year we recruit new staff at Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre, and we often get a great mix of personalities knocking on our door - showing us what they have to offer. However there are traps and pitfalls that so many young potentials just get wrong. Here are my top 5 tips to prevent them happening to you.

Disclaimer, if you do any of these - don’t panic. These are not ‘you’ve blown it’ moments, there shouldn’t be any in an interview. Remember our objective is to try and find out as much as we can about who you are, if you’re the right person for the job it will come through. These tips will just help that process.

1) Wear a suit

If you’re reading that and wrinkling your nose with disapproval then I’m talking to you in particular. Unless you’ve been specifically told otherwise this is a no brainer. I know the outdoor industry isn’t about being smart and we all take a pride in getting away from the formal office environment. We all love the RAB Jacket and the Mountain Equipment Trousers but this is an interview and you need to consider what message you’re giving in how you present yourself.

Nobody has ever been marked down for being ‘too smart’ and chances are you’re not going to either. But if you turn up scruffy there’s a very real chance that first initial impression isn’t going to be a good one. I’d question how serious you’re taking this interview and how professional you are as a colleague, and now you’re on the back foot before we’ve got started.

2) Talk is cheap – arrive with substance

If I had a pound for every time I was told about how a candidate was ‘passionate’ about the outdoors and ‘loves’ to be out in nature and has the ‘enthusiasm’ to spread that in others, I’d be a rich man. It’s easy to say that and to be fair it’s probably true, but you need to evidence this.

If you say you love the outdoors we want to know what you’re doing outdoors and why you love it. If you tell us you once went in a canoe and liked it, that’s really not going to cut it. Maybe you belong to a club? Do you volunteer with anyone? What experiences have you had? If you build a story of your love for the outdoors then suddenly you’ve got a bit of substance.

3) Tick the boxes

On your application we’re looking at the person specification and trying to decide whether you meet our essential criteria. Read that essential criteria and make sure we know you meet it. Almost all applications have that section to write about yourself and support your application. Use it and abuse it! This is your chance to sell yourself.

Remembering from lesson 2, try to evidence it too. You have brilliant customer service skills…….prove it! Write about all those customers who said they had a great time. Tell us about those letters from customers commending your efforts that ensured they had a great time.

4) Consider what you ask us

A lot of times in an interview you’ll get the chance to ask us a question. This tells us more than you probably appreciate. Yes we’re judging you and we’ll look at anything you do for clues as to what you’ll be like to work for us and what you ask is a great opportunity.

We know you’ll ask about pay – everyone wants to know that – after all it’s the primary reason you’re sitting in an interview. We won’t judge you on that. But if you were to start asking us insightful questions about our Outdoor Education provision we’ll know we’ve got someone who’s got a keen interest in the right thing. Your questions tell us about what you’re interested in, they also tell us how much you know and researched. For example if you were to ask “How many NICAS Level 2 courses do you deliver?” I instantly know you’re interested in delivering these courses and you’ve researched the organisation and am aware we deliver them.

5) You don’t have ‘lots of experience’

A lot of candidates seem to come to an interview having done about 1 or 2 seasons. This is great we’re always looking for people with a bit of experience. That’s exactly what it is, a bit.

Please please please when telling us why we should employ you don’t say it’s because of your experience. We know how much experience you’ve got, you put it on your application. It’s ok to be inexperienced, it means you’re a blank canvass ready for us to develop. You might look at things differently with a fresh set of eyes. Use that rather than telling us you have a lot of experience. Unless of course you do.

Finally don’t get disheartened too much if you don’t get the job. I’ve turned down a lot of people I’d loved to have worked with but at the end of the day we only have so many places to give out. Get feedback and learn from it. If you really want the job you’ll get it.

Good luck to anyone looking for a job in outdoor pursuits. It's a brilliant industry full of lots of interesting and enthusiastic people.

David Robinson

Saturday, 16 July 2016

British Canoeing HQ Team build a Trebuchet

On Wednesday a group from British Canoeing Head Office came to the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre to take part in some Team Building activities.

The plan was to build and fire a Trebuchet.

But first they had to find the parts of the Trebuchet, which we had hidden around our 15 Acre site. We provided 3 teams with a GPS each and gave them instructions on how to use them. Next we gave them the GPS co-ordinates to help them find the parts.

There was a lot of fun and a little bit of competition between the teams, but they successfully completed the task.

The next part was to build the Trebuchet.

I gave them a brief history about the Trebuchet where and when it was used in the past (Wikipedia)

The same 3 teams started work to construct their own Siege Engine to attack a Castle made of Milk Crates!

First you make the base and make sure it is pointing towards the Castle Milkcrate.

Then you build the sides.

Then pose for a 'Caption Competition' photo!

Time to attach the throwing arm and the counter balance weights.



Meet the British Canoeing Team.

For more information about LOPC Corporate Challenges

Friday, 15 July 2016

Goodbye to Children from our After School Club.

Today we say goodbye to several young people who have been coming to out After School Club at the Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre.

The Leicester Outdoor Pursuits Centre provide After School Care for children from nearby Junior Schools. https://www.lopc.co.uk/childcare/after-school-club/

It is the last day of term here in Leicester and the start of the school holidays, so today is both a sad and happy day for the staff of LOPC and young people who are leaving us today.

And in September they will start a whole new episode in their lives as they move from Junior School to Senior School.

Last Friday the staff offered that the After School Children could 'Camp Over' at the outdoor centre.

Some of the children had never camped in the Tent overnight before. Cheryl Taylor, one of the Instructors said 'They were brilliant and so well behaved.'

With the help of Instructors the put up their tents, cooked their own evening meal on Tranja Cookers and then cooked Marshmallows on a Campfire.

For those who are leaving us ... we will miss you.

And for those who are staying ... we will see you in September.

For more information about our After School Club

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Scout Water Team have Fun on the New Stand up Board

So we through down the gauntlet to the Scout Instructors could they have more fun?

Well the answer was YES because they launched the New XL Stand up Board.

We have 12 normal size Paddle boards and 2 XL size.

So yesterday the Scout Water Team accepted the Fun Challenge by launching the XL board.

So once we put this in the water it will have to be more fun!

OK lets try levitation.

Too much jumping Guys!

So I think the Scout Water Team proved they can have lots of fun, and also spend lots of time in the water!