Believe and Achieve
RMD Adventure Learning works with Children, Young People and Families
The RMD Adventure Learning Team
Creative Director RMD Adventure Learning C.I.C
Hi everyone, welcome to our website. We sincerely hope we can work with you to support the current needs of children, young people and families. We provide independent support to children, young people and families as well as collaboratively working in partnerships to deliver programmes in our local area and beyond.
How did RMD Adventure Learning come into being……………..
Ed my Co-Director gave me a chance 8 years ago over a coffee table to become a volunteer and start my journey into youth work and even though our working lives took different routes I never forgot the belief and trust he instilled in me that I had something to give in regards to community support. Before then I had been involved in criminality since the age of 6 years old and had completed a 25 year journey of self-destruction resulting in me eventually moving to Basingstoke from London to go into recovery at the age of 31. Since then I have been relentless in my pursuit to get educated and understand how all of the contributing factors in my early life made me become who I became, a violent and emotionally damaged individual who escaped his past memories through drugs and alcohol. I have been in recovery now since February 18th 2011 and have dedicated my working life to supporting, encouraging and inspiring the future adults of our society.
Over the years and through analysing various data from evaluation reports of projects I was running and delivering I recognised that men i.e. dads, stepdads, boyfriends etc were one of the leading causes of inner turmoil, anger, frustration and subsequent behavioural issues at home, in school and in the community for children, especially young boys. Reviewing my own life I can relate to this issue very deeply.
This data and my own experience of a father, my own fatherhood and memories from my past in regards to friends made me feel a real urge to shine a light on the issue as it appears to be a haunting presence in so many people’s lives.
RMD Adventure Learning is the child of that thinking process. Our signature course will provide informal education via workshops around Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) to any male involved in a child’s life. Our long term aim is to enable the repairing and maintaining of relationships that have been damaged through ACE’s. It is imperative that we give children hope that things could and can be different. It requires effort, engagement, dedication and an openness to support, with these endeavours anything is possible.
I am living proof that with the right support, belief and will power, a life can be revolutionised so that the chains of inner turmoil are finally broken and healing can begin………….
Many people have been part of my journey and I have not done this alone, I dedicate thanks to the love of my life Lisa who somehow stuck by me through it all, my sons Sonny & Bobby who are the brightest stars in my universe, My Mum – we have been on the emotional rollercoaster of life together for the last 40 years, my love for you is eternal and me moving forward like this is a gift to you for never ever giving up on me.
My beautiful sisters Kirsty, Chalie and Rosie, My Step-Dad John whose manner as a man is inspiring and humbling in equal measure, My Godfather – Uncle Jamie for always making me laugh & My Aunty Teresa for always telling me it straight, My Uncle Chris who is like a big brother to me and all of my other family members and cousins, a special mention for Tray & Chas who I love beyond compare and one day I hope they both come to work with me. I will be waiting with open arms when you’re ready.
BCOT & Ian Weston RIP – my counselling tutor and mentor. Ian’s influence and insight enabled me to change my being beyond all recognition of the man I used to be, without a doubt one of the greatest men I have ever met. Ian enabled me to improve every single relationship in my life. Sara Kopp – who gave me my first volunteer role at The Shaw Trust and still guides me to this day, Jaynie Lewis – my old BVS youth team manager, Rebecca Kennelly and Maureen Covacic also at BVS who always told me to keep dreaming, all my former work colleagues who have helped me grow in one way or another as have people in other organisations who have supported me including Anna Smee & Maddie Dinwoodie at UK Youth, Michaela Riley at Spotlight UK and Siobhan Down at Yellow Brick Road Projects.
Siobhan gave me the final push to do this and told me years ago it would happen, I didn’t really believe her then, I do now……..
A final acknowledgment goes to my own dad …….in the form of forgiveness……..
Let’s do this, lets #seizetheopportunity
During my school years i didn’t behave very well and this led to me getting into a lot of trouble. If it wasn’t for Carolyn Wald who at the time was my School Mentor i wouldn’t be where i am now and on the journey to support other young people who have or are going through the similar experiences.
In January 2006 I was appointed as the Young Carers Co Ordinator for Basingstoke Voluntary Services (BVS), Jaynie Lewis who worked for BVS at the time contacted me and said I would be great at this new role and that I should apply. At this time in my life I was very troubled to say the least, i was making the wrong choices which could have led to me going down the wrong path, if it was not for Jayne and other support.
This new opportunity to apply for something that I was unaware of appealed to me and I shortly realised that in fact I was a young carer myself! I was looking after my grandparents due to them taking me in and supporting them in their own home. Unfortunately years later my Grandad past away and this affected me but I managed to find a way through.
Leaving school in 2004 I was lucky enough to have various jobs on the go, however the main job I had was the Young Carers Co-Ordinator role. I was able to bring a service to the community that was not there before, but also support young carers and their families through the difficult times they were having.
We went from referral to referral and quickly established support groups for the young carers and respite sessions which happened weekly. During my time at BVS I was involved in the rebrand for the organisation and helped them rebrand to Basingstoke Voluntary Action, with this I was also promoted through the years to management and then Head of Business Development.
Business Director RMD Adventure Learning C.I.C
Within this time I was successful with million pound applications to support the whole of Hampshire’s Young Carers services and with Hampshire County Councils Detached Youth Work Funding. In 2008 I became the strategic manager for the youth development of the organisation and in 2016 I became head of business development. At the time I was managing a team of 16 Youth Workers who delivered a service Mon – Sat every week. We had various programmes running and ensured that the young people got the best opportunities they could. Vince of course was appointed to this team and quickly developed his role within the team, he became team leader within a short period of time. This was due to his knowledge, experience and connections with the youth.
I left BVA in 2017 to work for Basingstoke & Deane Borough Council, I was appointed as Children, Young People and Families Team Leader. I developed and launched the policy for Children, Young People and Families Strategy which now informs the work we do within Basingstoke & Deane. I Provided advice, policy development and actions relating to Children, Young People and Families. I Strategically lead on implementing a clear framework for the development of borough youth work, monitoring and evaluation of services. Coordinating and proactively facilitating activities/services for the benefit of Children, Young People and Families to help lead them to a healthy safe and fulfilled life. I was also the borough safeguarding lead and also provided safeguarding training including exploitation and radicalisation.
Since my departure from the council I am now running a charity as Chief Executive called Basingstoke & District Young Carers. This is one of the charities that RMD Adventure and Learning supports. I was approached by Vince Parkes to help set up something that is meaningful to us and that supports the children, young people and families that we work with. My decision to join couldn’t have been quicker. We both have experiences that complement each other and work really well as a team.
RMD Adventure Learning C.I.C aims to support, encourage and inspire children, young people and families to believe in the power of change and to seize the opportunity to work collaboratively to achieve their goals. Our approach moving forward is to ensure that our philosophy carries through to the youth workers we train, please look on our services page with the training link for more details.
What sets RMD apart locally and nationally is our aim to provide once in a life time experiences through our mountain climb expeditions. The mountains are a metaphor for life, people can overcome personal obstacles and challenges and change their life paths forever. Myself and Vince agree that informal educational experiences and memory making can hugely benefit the youth of today and future adults of tomorrow.
I am so excited to work with Vince once again, Vince and I have known each other now for years and it’s taken 5 years for us to realise that we should be working together 😊 I am grateful for us coming together now to support the children, young people and their families and want to make this appeal nationwide.
We both share different experience’s which complement each other. I am so pleased to be working with a great youth worker, friend and business partner. We have great faith that the children, young people and their families with reap the benefit from our experience and services.
I do thank my Gran for sticking by me and seeing my potential and also my partner Hannah for creating two wonderful kids and for being a step mum to my now 12 year daughter. Without the support of my family none of this would have been possible.
Thank you to everyone that has helped us get to this point.