All AIM Members have a wealth of experience and knowledge in their own particular sector, none more so than Dave Mayo from Chase Training Solutions, who has been with the Mutual for around 5 years and who has been really helpful in sharing his thoughts, specifically in regard to all things DofE expedition related.

What do you/your organisation do?

Chase Training Solutions specialises in Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expeditions, leader training, outdoor pursuits, school enrichment provision and residential opportunities. We have a proven record of achieving positive outcomes when engaging with children, young people and adults. As a leading provider of DofE expeditions in the UK, we have over 40 years of experience and an excellent reputation for delivering the Expedition section to the highest standards, demonstrating safety, ‘best practice’ and keeping within the values, ethos and spirit of the DofE, and it is the DofE aspect of the business that we are continually developing, allowing us to empower, inspire, encourage and engage with young people at all levels in an informal education setting.

How long have you been an AIM Member?

We started to use AIM in 2012 after looking to expand our activities and find a provider that understood the ‘outdoor world’ and its requirements for insurance purposes. We haven’t looked back!

What’s the best part of your job?

Working with and supporting young people to see them personally and socially develop. I was fortunate when I worked Full time for the DofE, they gave me the opportunity to complete a BA (Hons) in Youth & Community Work. This enabled me to develop a greater understanding of how the DofE Expedition section should be delivered, using the principles of youth work. This, in turn, ensures that young people gain the most enjoyment from their participation, meeting the aim of the Expedition section.

What issues do you think the industry faces this year?

Unfortunately, there are many, particularly for outdoor centres whose doors have been shut for so long due to the restrictions and guidelines imposed to prevent the spread of COVID-19. I think now is the right time to start looking at how the outdoor industry can respond to these restrictions and look at ways forward to ensuring that the sector can ‘open up’ and evidence to the government, that we can offer ‘COVID-19 secure’ experiences, enhancing and supporting the lives of young people and others wishing to enjoy the outdoor environment.

What benefits have you gained from being an AIM Member?

Many fold! I think the main benefit has been the opportunity to meet and engage with ‘like-minded’ people who love the outdoors and all it can offer those that wish to experience it.  Also for the opportunity to share ‘best practice’ and ideas.

What exciting projects do you have lined up for the future? 

We have an opportunity to expand and move into something new, that both supports and enhances the present business plan that we have. This opportunity will run alongside our existing delivery, but will also give us another facet to build upon and create even more opportunities and support for our clients. I can’t really expand on this (‘trade secret’ lol), however, what I can say is that development, whether that be personal or business, is about thinking outside of the box and being creative, and I believe that with our new initiative, we are being just that.

What’s your favourite activity?

Currently, it is photography. During ‘lockdown’ I have taken the opportunity to upgrade my photographic equipment (camera, lenses, etc.) and learn a lot more about the process of taking good photos, particularly wildlife and landscapes, as these subjects are both close to my heart and I’m in the outdoor environment on a regular basis to capture some great moments and images.

What activity do you want to try?

Now that’s an interesting question. I have been fortunate to experience all sorts of fantastic activities and ventures, however, as yet, I have not experienced a parachute jump, so why not?