Staff at Kempston Outdoor Centre
Ben Holmes – Centre Manager
Ben freelanced for various companies while studying Adventure Recreation at the University of Bedfordshire, then joined the team full time in 2008 after graduating with honours.
He is a summer Mountain Leader, Single Pitch Award and Climbing Wall Leading Award holder and most recently became a level 2 paddle-sports coach. When not at the centre Ben enjoys ‘rock climbing in its many forms’, a bit of DIY (as long as its wood work!) and time with his young family.
Unofficial title: Tech support
Fun fact: At university I once or twice abseiled out of my bedroom window on the 7th floor using a desk for an anchor.
Currently into: Bouldering
Best piece of kit: Palm Sidewinder Combi Salopettes (canoeing waders)
Jean Davies – Administrator
Jean joined the centre team in 2007 to take on some of the workload for D of E and centre administration. Having worked for central government she has gained a wealth of experience that we make extensive use of. Needless to say we are very grateful to have her on board!
Unoffical title: The Personal Assistant
Fun fact: Used to work for HM Treasury.
Currently into: Zumba, Charity Fundraising
Best piece of kit: Cork Screw
Adam Ciantar – Instructor
Adam started volunteering at Kempston about three years ago and after a year or so got offered a job as a causal member of staff. He continues to be the driving force behind the climbing wall and is responsible for the regular route-setting of increasingly difficult boulder problems. Needless to say he enjoys bouldering and sport climbing!
Unofficial title: “The one with the piercings”, “Dyno boy”
Fun fact: You can guarantee my iPod is near by.
Currently into: Bouldering
Best piece of kit: La Sportiva Solutions (climbing shoe- solution by name solution by nature)
Ian joined the team in 2007 and became a regular contributor to the after school clubs and day to day sessions at the centre. Ian is a BCU level 1 coach, Climbing Wall Award holder, and GNAS archery leader. Keen to dip his toe in many different adventure sports, Ian is a familiar face to those who visit the centre regularly. Also a keen photographer, you may see Ian’s pictures on many of our leaflets and this website.
Unofficial title: Beardy man
Fun fact: Big fan of folk music!
Currently into: Sport Climbing
Best piece of kit: Woolly hat!
Maclaine Colston – Instructor
Mac Joined the team in February of 2012 during his studies at Shuttleworth College with a desire to hit the ground running with centre experience when he finished. Having completed his diploma Mac is a regular provider of outdoor activities at the centre and is persuing National Governing Body qualifications in climbing and paddlesport.
Unofficial title: Big Mug
Fun fact: A leading player of the hammered dulcimer. Has played at the Royal Albert Hall!
Currently into: Land Expeditioning
Best piece of kit:Rab Latok Jacket. Cozy.
Sacha Fisher – Instructor
Sacha joined the team in February of 2012, having had a varied depth and breadth of experience across the UK. She started her outdoors employment as a sailing instructor on the South coast, going on to study Sports Science at Bangor Uni where she developed a love for walking and climbing and did her Mountain Leader Training. Since then she has worked in FE, gained her Summer Mountain Leader, PGCE and CWA before arriving at Kempston after a career break.
She previously enjoyed adventure racing but now can be found running in circles at orienteering events at the weekends.
Unofficial title: ..?
Fun fact: leads a double life as… a chartered accountant!
Currently into: Orienteering & mountain Biking
Best piece of kit:Buff
James Walsh – Instructor
James joined the team in February of 2012 and is our bushcraft specialist. He completed an apprenticeship after leaving school gaining an NVQ in Outdoor Activity Leadership and went onto work for various Outdoor Providers around the country. James then studied Outdoor Studies at Manchester Metropolitan University graduating with honours. He is also a youth worker and has worked for various charities including the Princes Trust. James is a UKCC Level One Paddlesport Coach as well as being Mountain Leader and SPA trained and has an active interest in the outdoor environment and bushcraft.
Unofficial title: Walshy
Fun fact: James was born on Christmas Day which he claims is the worst possible day to have a birthday
Currently into: Hillwalking /Indoor Climbing
Best piece of kit: Rab Vapour -rise Jacket
Chris Stapleton – Instructor
Chris started with us in 2013 after finishing his university studies. With paddlesport being his speciality, Chris spends much of his summer on the river looking after our many and varied clients.
Unofficial title: Unit
Fun fact: He can wiggle his ears
Currently into: white water kayaking
Best piece of kit: Drysuit for all those silly swims