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Consultancy - Cath Prisk

Cath Prisk

Cath Prisk, Outdoor People's Founder and Director, is a well respected thinker and advocate for children and the outdoors. In particular she has campaigned and led large scale programmes and campaigns in the UK and globally, supporting children's play and independent mobility, supporting schools and other services and working with Governments, corporates and charities.

Currently Cath is working with Unilever's Dirt is Good brands and Project Dirt to develop the global campaign Outdoor Classroom Day and more broadly support Dirt is Good to help make Real Play happen.

Cath’s wide ranging set of skills and experience includes:

  • Writing (from policy and press to blogs and social media).
  • Speaking (at workshops, as keynote speaker and on broadcast media).
  • Fundraising (making the case when it’s the right case and securing £2k – £200 million.)
  • Training (for everyone - teachers, trainers, managers or kids).
  • Strategic planning (with extensive consultation and team involvement, then writing it up so everybody gets it).
  • Project planning and delivery (that makes beneficiaries happy and funders too).
  • Social media (using Twitter, Facebook, Instagram Pinterest, Tumblr… to create a buzz for campaigns, make people think and direct traffic to websites).
  • Outdoor learning (building on years as a teacher , trainer, and leading Play England - Learning through Landscapes accreditation also on the way!)
  • Building adventures (at home, in communities and further afield… just check out our projects page!)

Cath's passion is making the outdoors easy, especially for children, which is why she set up Outdoor People.

Key previous roles:

  • Director of Play England;
  • Director of Play Projects at the National Children's Bureau;
  • UK Policy Manager for the Sector Skills Council Lifelong Learning UK;
  • London Skills Policy Manager at the LDA; 
  • Deputy Head of two Children’s Centres; and
  • Teacher in London and North Yorkshire.

Cath says:

"As well as ‘doing’, I love making the case. My teaching career began in Aberdeen, where I did my PGCE, followed by teaching roles in Inner City London and North Yorkshire. I have also studied child development as well as play theory.

I love our outdoors shop as a place to meet real families, but am equally passionate about writing papers that shape policies and programmes, or leading debates with an audience at a festival or conference.

Alongside Outdoor People, I am an advisor to the London National City Park campaign steering group and for Free Range Urban Kids, I was a founder of and Director of The Wild Network, and support various small charities that advocate for play.

I am a keen adventurer whether at home or further afield. I go camping, walking and hiking up mountains whenever possible, but also spend far too long on Twitter and try desperately to fit in a bit of hammock down time whenever possible!”

You can read Cath's Linked In profile, with full job history, here: Cath Prisk on LinkedIn Here she is on Chanel 5 news...

And from the 2017 Outdoor Classroom Day Campaign




Examples Consultancy as Outdoor People has so far included: 

  • Outdoor Classroom Day - in 2016 we got over 450,00 children out of doors across 3600 countries.... in 2017 so far over 1 Million children enjoyed outdoor lessons and more time to play in over 9600 schools and 81 countries across all 7 continents! 

  • Dangerous Play - researching the links between lack of outdoor play, independence and resilience specifically looking to see how that might shape poor sexual health decision making
  • Hackney Wild Walks (Hackney Council) - We developed the Wild Walks maps and training groups of locally based champion to lead
  • Educational Treasure Hunt (Teach First) - leading a team building and ideas forming walking workshop
  • Managing Managers who Manage Risk workshop ( Learning through Landscapes)
  • Literature Review for Fundraising bids (various including Learning through Landscapes and Mission Explore)
  • Researching and drafting full programme bids
  • Workshops at Wilderness, Exhale and Somersault Festivals

Cath also blogs regularly for Children and Young People Now as Fair Play Blog, which builds on her previous work on Love Outdoor Play. She has also had articles published in Children and Young People Now, the Telegraph, the Independent and the Guardian and has been interviewed on various broadcast media (including Channel 5  about kids connecting with nature, the Today Programme (14/8/2014) about street play, Woman's Hour about anti-social behaviour and, most excitingly, Newsround about neighbour's stopping outdoor play).

Cath is particularly proud of her review of the academic collection of essays Philosophy at Play which can be viewed here and was published in the International Journal of Play.

We have a number of colleagues and fellow consultants that we love working with on campaigns, literature reviews, fundraisaing and workshops, as well as access to playworkers and other children's professionals, so if you need a team, or have an idea you wish to discuss, do contact us.


Juno Hollyhock, Chief Executive, Learning Through Landscapes:
"We were lucky enough to have Cath take our two most senior managers through the ‘Managing Managers who Manage Risk’ course. This was a very comprehensive course which covered context and background in sufficient depth to inform the detail of the programme. The course also covered the legal requirements and links to the Health and Safety at Work Act as well as clearing up some popular myths. Scenarios were used as an effective way of testing new knowledge and these were well chosen for our field which made them extremely useful. Cath led the course at a pace which responded to our needs and allowed us to explore some issues in more depth but move through those that we already grasped. We were delighted with the presentation and would certainly recommend Cath to anyone. Managing managers who manage risk is a tricky area but Cath tailors the course very cleverly so you come out really understanding what your responsibilities are….and indeed what they are not."
Kathryn Scott, Public Health Strategist, London Borough of Hackney
"Working with Outdoor People has been brilliant.  The project benefited from a massive injection of enthusiasm and creativity, which seems to be part of Outdoor People's  DNA. This came as part of a package with all the less exciting, but necessary essentials you need from a partner - professionalism, rigour, sector knowledge and an awareness of monitoring and evaluation. Highly recommended."

Charles Ross, Outdoors Industry, Activist

"Cath was a great speaker; if you measure the level by how long afterwards the conversations last, then she might be the most popular I can remember. What sold it to me was how natural she was, rather than the succession of word-perfect polished performers I have listened to recently. It just smacked of being genuine"