Founders Experience

Founders Experience

Celebrating Diversity.. are we?

I have been asking this question of the outdoor education & environmental sector for over 30 years and the very reason I founded Backbone CiC: Celebrating Diversity Through Adventure.

I am the Operations Director at Backbone CiC, an experienced and qualified outdoor education practitioner, my chosen profession since 1979. I deliberately use the words experienced and qualified as they are credentials that are highly regarded in our profession. However, for me that has not always been the case. On this page I share some Experiences of my time in the sector so that we may learn from our past:

These experiences are one of the driving forces behind the making of Backbone CiC. It was set up to directly remove inequalities allowing everyone access to the great outdoors and all it has to offer. A place where people come together to share commonalities and celebrate uniqueness.

Today, I continue to ask the question; has our sector learnt from the past? In my job as the Founder & Operations Director of Backbone CiC: Celebrating Diversity Through Adventure, I continue to be disturbed by some of my recent experiences of inequality. Backbone CiC supports the sector to develop an inclusive approach. When engaging with organisations we believe and trust organisations to have a genuine intention to action change. However, this has not always been the case, like many Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic organisations, Backbone CiC continues to be taken advantage of to tick the correct diversity box, to access funding and to use our expertise to develop in-house solutions.

“I will never hire one of you again!”
Admittedly I was late for work after a day’s climbing and deserved a reprimand… but?
“You are like a square peg trying to fit into a round hole”.
Feedback after a job interview. To this day the organisation has not validated that statement.
“How do we know it wasn’t just you and a group of mates having fun!”.

An appraisal after delivering a very successful and ground breaking project developing outdoor leaders in the BAME community. The first of its kind in the early 90’s.

“What is your understanding of Asian Women?”.
A question asked by a white male at an interview. (I am an Asian Woman).

Despite the inequalities Backbone CiC is a leading Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic organisation acknowledged on a national and global platform for successfully addressing diversity and inclusion in the sector.

The key to our success is partnership working based on our values of:

  • Genuine Intention
  • Trust and Integrity
  • For the Direct Benefit of All Communities

Are you ready?

Join the movement to ACTION CHANGE in the sector?

This is what is required from you and your organisation:

Commitment Conscious application over a sustained period of time

Resources Funds and time

Openness To explore and challenge ‘Blind Spots’ through honest dialogue

Action Immediate action to do something different

We offer bespoke initiatives alongside our menu of services