Meet the Team

Believing that our core values of passion, care, support, generosity and authenticity are the best way to run our business they thread their way through everything we do. We lead a team of mostly, freelance trainers who come from a variety of backgrounds making them a unique, diverse and hugely talented team. Between them they have over 150 years of professional outdoor education and adventurous activity instructional experience.

Each of them hold the highest coaching awards available for their passions and past times from ropes courses, to water sports and mountain activities. As well as working for Vertex many run their own successful businesses ranging from team and personal development, owning climbing walls, offering high level adventurous training, running a coffee roasting business and lecturing at university!

When we hit our busiest time of year, usually between March and June, our training team is also supplemented by other UK based ERCA Trainers who work for Zip World, Head4Heights and GRA.

  • Steve Woods

    Steve Woods, Technical Director

    Steve's been climbing things since he was small and so it's no surprise that he's made a career out of his passion.

    His engaging manner, enthusiasm, knowledge and experience has propelled Vertex to become the top training company in Europe.

    Steve has given training to companies and organisations all over the world, working on all types of courses for many different ropes course constructors. His unrivalled position within the industry means he's one of the experts on the CEN Committee representing the BSI writing and developing of the European Safety Standard EN15567 for Ropes Courses.

    He was also the first Director of Training at ERCA and was instrumental in the development of the training syllabus that is used within the industry today. He has sat on the General and Executive Boards of ERCA and is regularly asked to act as an expert witness in legal cases.

  • Emma Bell

    Emma Bell, Commercial Director

    Emma has worked in the outdoor industry for nearly 20 years, and been with Vertex since 2014 when she and Steve went into business together.

    Working in the outdoor education sector for nearly 20 years, including the Senior Management Team for a national outdoor education charity, where she was responsible for the charity's finances, HR, payroll, ICT and business development and planning.

    Emma's role is to bring her financial, marketing and business knowledge to support the continued growth and expansion of Vertex. She is currently studying to become a Resilience and Life-Coach Practitioner and is also the Chair of Trustees for a local Dorset visual arts organisation.

  • Jim Bacon

    Jim Bacon - Operations Director

    Jim is based in north Wales and has a long career in the ropes course and adventure park industry and joined the Vertex leadership team in July 2022.

    Jim's role is to support our clients and trainers to deliver amazing off-ground adventurous activities across the world. Before joining Vertex he worked at Zip World as their as Health, Safety and Technical Training Advisor. He has a wealth of operational, training and technical knowledge and expertise and ablely supports our clients and trainers in a range of areas.

    Outside of work, Jim can often been found cycling, running, climbing, having beer and generally enjoying life to the full!

  • Kate Kenny

    Kate Kenny - Certification and Admin Support

    Kate is responsible for ERCA & Vertex Certification as well as general admin support for Vertex.

    Kate has had a varied career including several seasons as an instructor for 3D at their site in Osmington and as a primary school teacher. From there she went on to become a tutor for Widehorizons rising to the post of Head of Centre for the Townsend Centre in Swanage.

    She then took the decision to start her own business as part of the Fun Science franchise covering the whole of Dorset and where she is known as Kinetic Kate!

  • Eddy Young

    Eddy Young, Trainer

    Eddy has a massive passion for the outdoors! Surfing, climbing, mountaineering, skydiving, running and biking: he loves them all.

    Eddy started climbing at the age of 10 years old! Since then has climbed in Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Europe, Norway, Thailand, China, Vietnam, not forgetting the UK.

    He started working in the outdoor industry in 1998 after attending Bicton Outdoor College where he was the best practical student! After 10 years of working in the outdoor industry he has gained a huge collection of qualifications including BMC Fundamentals 1 & 2, NLP Core Skills, PPE Inspector, Wire Ropes Inspector, MIA and Winter Mountain Leader.

    Eddy runs his own business Youngs Adventure Solutions and is a qualified ERCA Trainer for both Traditional Ropes Courses and Adventure Parks.

    In his spare time Eddy can be found hanging off a cliff, surfing at Bournemouth or drinking coffee planning his next adventure.

  • Rowenna Cardy

    Rowenna Cardy, Trainer

    Rowenna grew up in North Wales and is a keen runner, and lover of outdoor swimming, mountain biking, climbing, paddle boarding and yoga

    After studying English at Manchester Metropolitan University, she was interested in the idea of teaching others, and the love of the outdoors drew her to her first instructing role at an activity centre for kids. From there, she moved to the heart Snowdonia, Llanberis, and worked at Zip World for over 6 years, training new and old instructors at all 3 of Zip World’s sites. Eager to continue learning new things and pushing her comfort zones, she recently qualified as a Water Rescue One Technician, which she will hopefully use one day to teach others

    In 2018 she gained her ERCA Trainer qualification and started work for Vertex. She loves travelling to all parts of the country and meeting the array of people she has to train and enjoys the buzz of when she is able to make sense of something they didn’t understand before, giving them a new skill and experience

  • Phil Robinson

    Phil Robinson, Trainer

    Phil is one of Vertex’s most experienced trainers, with excellent people skills, enabling him to quickly build successful relationships with the clients.

    He is SPA qualified, a level 2 BCU coach, a qualified PPE Inspector and holds the RCD Assessors Award, and is one of only a handful of ERCA Master Trainers.

    Phil has his own business Green Man, and has been working in the outdoor activities industry for over 30 years and in that time has built up a wealth of knowledge and a fantastic reputation. He is a passionate believer in the use of ropes courses as a means to help people grow and maximise their potential.

  • Kerry Jury

    Kerry Jury, Trainer

    Kerry has been working in the outdoor industry for the best part of 20 years and is the only female ERCA Master Trainer.

    She has worked in a variety of locations including Scotland, north Wales, Cornwall and Hong Kong and is now runs her own business Venture First Aid Training as well as freelancing for outdoor providers.

    Travel-wise, Kerry has travelled extensively in south east Asia and New Zealand, and did a big trip across the north of China, into Pakistan down the Karakoram Highway and into India.

    Qualifications include 1st Aid Trainer, BCU level 2 kayak coach, SPA, ERCA Trainer and PPE Inspector, Mountain bike leader, rescue and self belay qualifications.

    Kerry is also a member of the local coastguard team which do search and rescue, water rescue and cliff rescues. When she isn't working, being a mum, or busy with the coastguard Kerry likes to get out on her mountain bike, do adventure races, climbing and lots of walking along the coast path.

  • Rob Kennard

    Rob Kennard, Trainer

    Rob studied Geology, Coastal Geomorphology and Ecology at University and is an active climber.

    He runs his own businses Portland Climbing and has been an instructor for over 29 years, working with adults and children in a group environment as well as in a one-to-one coaching setting. He creates a great atmosphere to enable, enthuse as well as enhance and validate knowledge.

    His use of empathy and enthusiasm creates an opportunity to inspire performance in a safe and affable way.

  • David Sneddon

    David Sneddon, Trainer

    David grew up on the West coast of Scotland and has worked extensively across Scotland and the rest of the UK and currently resides in Lincolnshire.

    David is currently training to become a paramedic but still delivers training for us when he can! He has worked at and managed a number of ropes courses across the UK

    David studied Outdoor Pursuits Management at SRUC Ayr and has worked at a wide range of outdoor centres and providers. As well as delivering ERCA training, David is also a first aid trainer and tutor for the RLSS National Water Safety Management Program.

  • Ellis Bird

    Ellis Bird, Trainer

    Ellis is a passionate climber and outdoor enthusiast who enjoys the local Dorset scene and adventure experiences found in the UK and abroad

    He started life off working in West Sussex outdoor activity centres and local climbing walls before completing a BA Hons in Adventure Education. This progressed into teaching outdoor education in further education and he is now a senior lecturer at the University of Chichester.

    He also runs his own business, Adventure Brand, training a variety of new and experienced instructors in the outdoors and runs ERCA training for Vertex and in his down time can sometimes been seen with Eddy Young hanging off El Capitan in Yosemite, USA!

  • Will Moy

    Will Moy, Trainer

    Will was brought up in the flat lands of Norfolk, and quickly fell in love with the outdoor activities while studying for an outdoor education degree.

    Since then has worked around the country with various outdoor centres and more recently settled in sunny Dorset working with Vertex and other local providers, as well as running his own rock climbing business.

    Will has a friendly and open minded approach to teaching. He also runs and owns a coffee roasting business called Carve Coffee!

    When not training with Vertex Will can be found rock climbing on the sea cliffs, in the water surfing or roasting his coffee beans.

  • Paul Capper

    Paul Capper, Trainer

    Paul has worked in the ropes course industry since 1994 as a trainer, constructor and inspector. He is one of Europe's leading ropes course inspectors.

    Through his own business Capstone Inspections he carries out inaugural, periodical and operational inspections for 1000s of operators across the UK and Europe.

    He is an accredited wire rope examiner, qualified tree surgeon, PPE inspector and has an industrial ropes access qualification. He also holds an inspection certificate from Drop Zone to inspect the Powerfan.


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