Assessment at HLWAC

This morning I went to Hollingworth Lake Water Activity Centre for a staff recruitment day, Babs had told me about it and they said they needed people with WGL. Despite all my efforts, it had been almost impossible to get any information out of them. I’d rung up 3 times, Babs had called in on my behalf but still no letter from them. Eventually I got them to email with the details which told me almost nothing, certainly not what I needed to prepare, just that I had to be there at 10.00 and would have the opportunity to deliver and instruct a practical skills session for 15-20 mins. Sessions would be allocated on the day.
So I prepared a a 20 min introductory session to navigation and map reading. I took all the kit I could possibly need. I arrived on time and was surprised to find that I’d been given mountain biking for the morning (to do taking a bearing and warm ups) and climbing in the afternoon (more warm ups). I questioned why I was being asked to do something I wasn’t planning on delivering and eventually it transpired that most people were there for the wet activities but that they want to expand their dry activities and there were only 2 of us attending with WGL and one for mountain biking so we grouped together. I decided to go with the flow. The manager of the centre introduced himself and the staff, most of whom were wet workers and only one dry. The centre is run by Link4Life who have been contracted to run all of Rochdale’s leisure activities. This means they are reasonably well off, able to recruit, and all their income goes back into the centre.
We got a tour of the centre, which involved looking at various types of boats and hearing strange terms and acronyms which I have now forgotten. We also saw bikes and some cupboards with ropes in.
Next Al took Tony, Gill and me outside. Tony showed us how to do an “M” check of a bike and how to ride downhill. We didn’t actually go out on the bikes as it was too icy.
Then Gill went through how to do a grid reference and then I did how to take a bearing. I got them to do some running on the spot as usually warming up for walking is done by walking! It all seemed to go well, all 3 of us were good at explaining, involving the others and questioning.
It was then nearly 1 pm and none of us were actually needed to go and do climbing so we filled in various forms and were allowed to go. The manager, Gary, I think that was his name, said we didn’t have to do any more.
They are looking for casual staff to do evenings, weekends etc. They are also taking on permanent staff so I think this is about building up a pool of expertise to draw on as they build up the activities and skills base. They are planning to offer guided walks and teach navigation.
I started off very irritated at their lack of organisation but finished up hoping that they would offer me work as it’s very near, and they are well funded. They just need to get their IT sorted so that they have mapping software!


Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.