"Providing young people with the opportunity to be adventurous, to be challenged and to grow in their confidence and self-esteem."
Linden’s first week at Rock UK was a whirlwind of outdoor adventure with our Senior Leadership Team. Activities included a 10-mile trek, sleeping under the stars in a one-man tent and an evening of entertainment around the campfire all in the beautiful setting of the Lake District.
After giving Linden some time to recover from his induction programme, we caught up with him to ask him a few questions:
Tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m married to Hilary and have two children, Pippa (10) and Jasper (7) and we live in Crowborough in East Sussex. I grew up in West Sussex, and have lived in France, Devon and Birmingham before returning to my roots here in the South East six years ago. We are part of Christ Church in Tunbridge Wells where I lead worship and help lead All Age services.
What are you passionate about as an individual?
I am passionate about people. Much of my career has been about supporting and encouraging people to grow and develop, whether that be working with rough sleepers, asylum seekers, people experiencing mental health issues, young people, old people or people living in poverty. God has helped me to see value and worth in each of these lives and has given me opportunities to come alongside them and help them to grow and develop in some way. My other passions are France and all things French, and Tottenham Hotspur F.C.!
What did you do to before coming to Rock UK?
Before joining Rock UK I spent five years as Operations Director for Fegans, a Christian charity which supports children and families through counselling and parent support services. My role was to manage the five Area Managers, to bring about the delivery of services through their teams, and to drive consistency and efficiency across the organisation.
What is your vision for Carroty Wood?
The beautiful woodland setting of Carroty Wood provides space away from the hustle and bustle of daily life for groups to spend time together, experience adventure and enjoy nature. In time I would love to enhance the facilities here by developing the existing accommodation, and possibly building more accommodation to cater for the huge demand we have from groups wanting to stay here. It would also be great to add some new activities such as fencing and bouldering.
What is a typical day at Carroty Wood like?
Well, I don’t think such a thing exists as no two days are the same. We always start the day with prayer and bible study but after that, literally anything can happen! We always have guests staying here though so much of what happens is around ensuring they a great through the activities we run, the accommodation and catering we provide, and in the way we welcome and treat each of our guests. In the short time I’ve been here I’ve transported groups to our off-site lake for canoeing sessions, towed and set up the mobile climbing tower for a community Fun Day, clambered around in the roof space of one of our buildings looking for the source of a water leak, not to mention meeting with the leadership team, conducting site tours, planning next year’s budget, overseeing the admin team, interviewing new staff and monitoring bookings. I won’t be bored, that’s for sure!
What do you do in your spare time?
I play tennis, enjoy family bike rides, play guitar, bass and drums and I love to cook!
What excites you most about the work of Rock UK?
Providing young people with the opportunity to be adventurous, to be challenged and to grow in their confidence and self-esteem, and as a staff team, demonstrating something of God’s love, care and the value that He places in each of these young lives.
Which is your favourite adventure activity at Rock UK?
It was terrifying, but when I did the ‘Leap of Faith’ on our High Ropes course I felt a huge sense of accomplishment. My kids put me to shame though as they did it with no fuss at all, whereas with legs like jelly, it took me a while to stand on the top of the pole, let alone launch myself off!
Find out more about Carroty Wood