I’m an OS GetOutside Champion for 2020, I’m the Chief Volunteer Queen for Adventure Queens South Wales, a committee member of the Vale of Usk Riding Club and a member of the Brecon Beacons National Park LAF.
I’ve just turned 50 and am not your stereotypical outdoor type. I’ve never been great at sports and I’m not a pretty sight puffing and panting up a mountain. But being outdoors makes me feel alive – it’s my soul food.
My goal is to encourage more women of every age, size, ability and background to participate in outdoor activities and that’s what I do for Adventure Queens South Wales. Adventure Queens is an online UK-based community of more than 10,000 women. Its goal is to encourage, inspire and educate more women to get outside.
Over the past three years I’ve organised weekends away (camping, surfing, scrambling, hiking, climbing, kayaking and wild swimming), day walks, social evenings and walked the 99-mile Beacons Way in a trip I organised for myself and fellow AQ members. On top of that I’ve given live online talks, help organised virtual camp outs and mentored new members.
AQ has transformed my own life. I was a cautious day walker before I joined, but since then I’ve become a seasoned camper (I hadn’t camped in more than 20 years), I’ve completed multi-day hikes, learned scrambling., climbing, surfing and paddleboarding and now I’m working towards my Mountain Leader qualification – I keep pinching myself as I can’t believe this is really me!
A big part of my role within AQ is sharing advice and sparking discussions on kit, nutrition, self-care and mental well-being. The women in our community vary from seasoned adventurers to mums camping out in their garden for the very first time. Yet all are concerned about their carbon footprint and are passionate about protecting our planet.