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Emma's story

Emma's story  

Hi I'm Emma, a multi-tasking mum who has recently started a business providing bespoke walking and outdoor activity breaks for families and groups across the UK. I live in the East Midlands with my husband and two children.

Who or what inspired you to set up this business?

I have spent many years running the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at the school I teach at and have fallen in love with the outdoors and more specifically the hills and mountains in the UK. I wanted to be able to give other people the opportunity to experience some of what I do and to feel the solitude, beauty, challenge and life affirming buzz that being in our mountains can offer.

What do you love most about your work?

Taking adults and school children in the hills that wouldn’t have the confidence or knowledge to go there on their own. Seeing the delight on their faces as the clouds part to reveal a beautiful view or the achievement of getting to the top of a mountain.

What are the advantages of being based in a rural area?

I’m really central, so have easy access to major motorways for getting out around the UK visiting schools and guiding in the hills. It’s a great place to bring up the family, the peace and space around me gives me vital thinking time and there is a very friendly atmosphere in the village and that feels supportive.

What are the main challenges of working in the countryside?

There is a lot of driving but that is a choice you make. Sometimes broadband, mobile signal and access to wi-fi/3G isn’t great.

What does a typical day in your life look like?

There is no typical day! But I might get an early run in before everyone wakes up, delivering DofE in schools and teaching, catching up with emails and questions from clients, updating our website, planning routes and trips in the Peak District or Snowdonia, drying tents or best of all leading in the mountains! Oh… and collecting children from school, getting dinner on and sorting out the washing….. !

How do you manage to juggle the demands of a career whilst raising a family?

It’s quite demanding but I wouldn’t change anything. I love everything that I do: my family, teaching, First 4 Adventure UK, running etc but I have chosen to fit it all in and most of the time it just about works.

What, do you think, is the secret of success?

To be efficient and well organised. Time is very precious so it’s important to use it wisely, whether that’s enjoying family time or work. Also, to be committed and passionate about what you do. Life is short and so don’t waste it on idle time. Make the most of every opportunity.

Who or what can’t you work without?

Tea – gallons of it! Also my computer, business partner, Andy and when we’re on the hill, my trusty compass!

Would you consider moving to a more urban area in the future?

No. I love the countryside too much. It gives me a sense of balance and peace in what is a very busy life. I think it is a wonderful place for the children to grow up in.

In career terms where would you like to be in five years time?

I would like the business to have really taken off and to be working full time delivering DofE to lots of schools and taking groups into the mountains all year round. I’d like to be earning enough to have some help with all the admin and have a van!

What advice would you give to other mums thinking of moving into your line of work?

To do it, if they are absolutely passionate about it. Get the right qualifications and experience. Setting up a business is really hard work and a lot of it initially is very tedious and admin based. Get some support: my husband and my friends have been fantastically supportive and that has made a big difference as there are lots of ups and downs. Work with someone else so you can bounce ideas off each other and share in the roller-coaster journey. Dream big and work hard. 

For more information about Emma's business or to book a walking/adventure holiday please click here

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