Introducing the graduates of the first Thrive Outdoors Leadership Programme

20 December 2023


The first ever Thrive Outdoors Leadership programme finished last week with all 21 graduates coming together to celebrate.

Funded by a number of investors including Scottish Government and developed by Inspiring Scotland, the bespoke six-month programme supported emerging leaders for the outdoor community play and outdoor ELC sectors, meeting for sessions every three weeks.

As well as giving participants an important platform to build relationships with like-minded charity leaders in the outdoor play and learning sector, the course explored leadership topics including:

  • Authentically leading
  • Organisational culture
  • A safe space to discuss challenges and solve workplace problems through an action learning set process

Industry experts shared their skills and experience with the group who benefitted from this tailormade training.

“If we want more children and families to experience quality outdoor play and learning opportunties, we need to support, nurture and invest in the leaders who will make this happen.”

– Melodie Crumlin, Thrive Outdoors Fund Manager

Having been in leadership roles for the past seven years and having completed other leadership courses in the past, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this course but I needn’t have worried – it was brilliant! Eve Poole started the programme by explaining that leadership isn’t something you can ‘just learn’, it’s more like an ongoing apprenticeship and this was a real moment of enlightenment for me. Being told you don’t have to always have the answers and need to invest in yourself as a leader on a continual basis was a revelation. Being given permission to be human and carve out my own ‘style’ of leadership was truly empowering. I learned so much from this programme and loved that it was focused around those working in the outdoors rather than having a corporate focus which is often difficult to relate to. It was a true joy getting to know the others on the course and I learned something from each and every one of them. Overall a brilliant experience which I’d highly recommend.” 

– Suzanne Hermiston, cohort 1 participant

It has been a pleasure to meet the other members of the cohort, although we have similarities, we all do quite different roles and it has been interesting to catch a glimpse of different organisations. This leadership course is long overdue (for me) and so far, has been a fulfilling and enjoyable experience, if you have the opportunity to join another cohort, I recommend it.”

– Vicki Shiels, cohort 1 participant

Meet the graduates 

If you are interested in finding out more, please contact