Meet The Team

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Founders: Alan & Gaynor Keane

The UProjects enterprise is managed by Husband and wife team Alan & Gaynor. They have established this initiative because not everyone wants to exercise indoors and that there is a fantastic natural local resource right outside our door, where you can get active and be healthy

Alan has worked in the health and leisure industry, coordinating and managing health initiatives with a focus on getting people active outdoors
These have included developing  the successful Milltown to Moors Race Series,  coordinating funded projects to get young people  active such as the Sport England funded Passport to Outdoor Pursuits, which offered people from the more deprived areas of Oldham an opportunity to access activities in local   Urban and Countryside parks, the Peak District National Park and the mountain areas of North Wales, the Lake District and Scotland. An important outcome of these projects was to offer suitable participants qualifications in the outdoors and volunteer opportunities.

Alan has worked with the British Mountaineering Council’s Equity steering group, organising symposium events, both locally in the Peak and at the British Mountaineering Centre Plas y Brenin, to engage with hard to reach groups within our diverse community to promote access to adventurous activities and qualifications in the outdoors. 

Alan holds the Summer Mountain Leader Award and the Climbing Instructor Award; he is also a British Nordic Walking instructor, Cascade Trainer and Walk Leader for The Walking for Health Scheme, he is an England Athletics trained run leader and has Nutrition Skills level 3.

Gaynor Worked for the NHS for 8 Years Initially as a Health Trainer supporting people to improve their health
She has also worked as a Health Improvement  coordinator for the NHS  establishing outdoor physical activity programmes focusing on increasing physical activity levels of adults, Children and families.
Gaynor is passionate about helping people to make healthy lifestyle changes, she understands the importance of looking at realistic, achievable goals which combine both healthy eating and exercise.  
Gaynor is a keen sportsperson and undertakes many activities including fell running, climbing, mountaineering, cycling and swimming.  She has undertaken several long distance fell running challenges and is a member of the Bob Graham 24 hour club. 
Gaynor is inspiring and has an empathic approach to lifestyle improvement.
Gaynor has degree in Leisure Studies focusing on Countryside and Recreation Management, she holds the Climbing Instructor Award,Level 2 NVQ Gym Instructor Qualification, The Wright Foundation Exercise Referral Qualification,level 3 Health trainer qualification,she  is a Cascade Trainer and Walk Leader for The National Walking for Health Scheme inititiave and is a England Athletics trained run leader.


Emily Thompson

A valued member of the UProject team, with a passion for the outdoors.

Emily has been a Duke of Edinburgh Expedition Leader since 2003, supervising and assessing young people on their Award, primarily Gold candidates on expeditions in the Lake District and North Wales.  
She qualified as a Summer Mountain Leader in 2012 and started working on a freelance basis supervising and assessing Gold Expeditions on behalf of schools, scout groups and other youth organisations; frequently taking groups to both the Lake District and North Wales, as well as in her local Peak District.
Since then she has freelanced for a number of companies working with adult groups with a variety of abilities and interests, as well as families with young children, providing mountain days around England, Wales and Scotland. She is currently working towards the Winter Mountain Leader Qualification.

Emily also enjoys fell and trail running and rock climbing.

Emily is an active call out member of the Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team and a qualified casualty carer. She is active on the BMC Access and Conservation Trust board and in 2017 joined the board of directors of Mountain Training UK.

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Scott Archibald

Scott has been a valued member of the Uprojects outdoor team since 2012, leading and assisting with outdoor activities locally and in mountain areas of the UK.

Scott fits with the UProjects ethos, friendly and professional  he is happy to spend time reassuring and building confidence for those new to adventure activities  

He has worked as a freelance instructor with other adventure services also with Leisure Services, Local Authorities and Voluntary Organisations delivering  outdoor adventure activities.

He also holds specialist awards for working with young people with disabilities

He holds the Climbing Instructor and Mountain Leader awards; he is also a tutor for level 3-day Walk Leadership and Basic Expedition Leader Awards.

National Indoor Climbing Award Scheme (NICAS) instructor delivering GCSE, QCF and Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Scott can often be spotted with Frank the friendly mountain dog!


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Darren Shepherd

Always looking for an adventure, Daz is a keen outdoor enthusiast with a passion for climbing, mountaineering, cycling and running, in fact anything outdoors that requires some physical ability and technique. Having started his climbing on the Peak Districts gritstone edges, in particular Stannage, he has climbed throughout the UK including  the sea cliffs of Wales and   amongst the mountains of Scotland and Skye. Daz has also climbed further afield on sport holidays in Kalymnos, Sardinia and Mallorca, done Via Ferrata in the Dolomites and successfully summited Mont Blanc self-guided.

When not out in the mountains Daz spends his "free" time getting his hands dirty restoring ruined and disused canals with the Waterways Recovery Group and annually leads a week long work camp or working holiday.

Daz has extensive skills, knowledge and experience in the outdoors,  always on hand to help with our sessions, an engineer and practical minded  he is often in the background, maybe at the top of the windy crag  looking after the technical side of things ensuring double safety at sessions. 
He holds the Climbing Instructor Award.