What We Do

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Meet the Board

Trustees

About Us


Development through Challenge is a youth development charity that aims to give local young people development opportunities through challenging activities at our climbing centre in Mile End.

We spend the majority of our time working with local schools, youth groups, special education needs groups, pupil referral units and youth offending teams on programs ranging from GCSE climbing through to AQA awards and tailor-made programmes.

We also offer affordable climbing and long-term development for children through our NICAS and Squad programmes. Every penny we earn goes back into the development of the centre and its facilities and sometimes it subsidises programmes for young people that might otherwise operate at a loss.

Part of our ethos as a charity is to offer good value climbing for all and so we always try to make sure that our entry prices and courses are affordable and competitive.


Trustees


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Tim Nash

Chairman

"I became a trustee to lend support to a worthy charity that is dedicated to offering something that enriches people's lives."

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Kevin Murphy

Secretary

"I did a lot of hill walking in Ireland and England and thought climbers were mad until I tried it myself and was then hooked."

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Martin Soulsby

Treasurer

"My obsession is skydiving which I have done for over 30 years with 4,500 jumps and I represent the UK internationally."

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Damian Jaques

Trustee

"I am a keen cyclist and can be found trying to go a bit faster either in the Olympic Velodrome or out on the road."

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Hiren Joshi

Trustee

"I've just returned from motorcycling around Burma, I'm now looking for the next challenge. "

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Salim Hafajee

Trustee

"If I didn't have to work I could happily spend my days wandering the streets looking for the decisive moment!"

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Matt Teague

Trustee

"Mile End was the only place where you could fall off from a reasonable height. You still can."

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Brenda Taggart

Trustee

"I particularly enjoy supporting MECW's social programme and often provide the catering at events."

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Tim Nash

Chairman


How Long have you been a trustee?

2 Years

Profile

Tim's interest in climbing is strictly from a distance. He has tried climbing at Mile End and he has complete respect for those who can cling onto a tiny hold for more than a few seconds and claim to enjoy it.

Having played cricket for a number of years, Tim has recently returned to athletics, where he was once a reasonable cross-country and middle distance runner.

Professionally, Tim has been Chief Executive at the law firm, Edwin Coe, since 2008. He is also the firm's compliance officer for finance and administration, responsible for designing and maintaining many of the risk and compliance processes for the firm. Prior to joining Edwin Coe, Tim worked in a number of professional organisations, and spent 6 years in France.

Tim's other interests include most sports, reading and his family.

Why did you become a trustee?

It is good to provide a detached, non-climber, view to the trustee meetings. I became a trustee to lend support to a worthy charity that is dedicated to offering something that enriches people's lives.

What is your personal vision for the future of DTC?

I would like to see it attracting and developing future generations of climbers to the sport. It should help those that want to win, and those that want to better themselves do just that, with the support of their co-climbers.


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Kevin Murphy

Secretary


How long have you been a trustee?

Eight years

Profile

I studied computer systems in Ireland and have worked mainly in the finance area. Twenty five years ago, I moved over from Dublin with the intention of staying for a few years, so let this be a lesson to any expatiates reading this!

I did a lot of hill walking in Ireland and England and thought climbers were mad until I tried it myself and was then hooked. These days I mostly climb indoors, rarely venturing to the crags.

Why did you become a trustee of DTC

At the time, I was already a Governor of my children's primary school and felt that I could contribute to the board. Also, the policy of free Tea for trustees may have had some bearing on my decision.

What is your personal vision for the future of DTC

Continue working on fulfilling our charitable aims. Expand existing climbing surfaces with new and interesting features. New climbers to ME often comment on the friendly nature of members and staff and I hope that this will continue to be the case.


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Martin Soulsby

Treasurer


How long have you been a trustee?

Ten years

Profile

If climbing is my hobby, my obsession is skydiving which I have done for over 30 years with 4,500 jumps. I represent the UK internationally and am a multiple national champion, I am also currently the Chair of British Parachute Association. Which all helps to explain why I climb so badly.

To pay for all this I am a Director of a recruitment company.

Why did you become a trustee of DTC

To actively be involved in a charity that has given me so much fun, by adding my commercial skills and experience to make a lasting difference.

What is your personal vision for the future of DTC

For Mile End to continue to act as a great gateway to our sport for a the whole range of individuals across all age groups. While also to continue developing the facilities to stay as one of the leading walls in London


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Damian Jaques

Trustee


How long have you been a trustee?

Eight years

Profile

I am a graphic designer specialising in editorial design. I also co-own a small publishing company based in London. I have been climbing since the age of 25 after finding small cliffs completely irresistible when out hillwalking in North Wales one summer. I have climbed extensively in the UK and less so in the French Alps.

I am a keen cyclist and can be found trying to go a bit faster either in the Olympic Velodrome or out on the road. Although I do not climb regularly, climbing has been a part of my life for nearly 25 years... just take a look at some of my gear!

Why did you become a trustee of DTC

Having seen the transformative power of giving young people the sense of achievement and responsibility that climbing, in particular, has at its core I jumped at the chance of getting closer to steering the direction of this aspect of the wall's service.

What is your personal vision for the future of DTC

The aims of Development Through Challenge should continue to be threaded throughout the products on offer and, therefore, re-enforce the position of Mile End as one of the pre-eminent facilities for giving young people, especially those who face lifestyle challenges, the opportunity to gain essential 'life skills' and develop themselves. I would also like to see the range of services offered by the wall increased to include lectures, lm screenings and residencies to broaden the experiences for all.


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Hiren Joshi

Trustee


How long have you been a trustee?

About 10 years

Profile

I'm an IT freelancer which is incredibly boring to write about, suffice to say it's fun and puts food on the table.

Traveling is a big part of my life, having just returned from motorcycling around Burma, I'm now looking for the next challenge. Back home in London, although I don't climb as much as I used to, I still try to get up the wall every now and then.

I ski a fair bit, trying to get out to the white room at least twice a year. Beyond that, I spend a lot of time motorbiking around UK country roads, it keeps the heart pumping.

Why did you become a trustee of DTC

After learning the charitable aims of DTC, I was eager to get involved, to play a small part in keeping the charity going.

What is your personal vision for the future of DTC

I would like to see the charity continue down the path it's been on for the last few years. This includes personal development for local children as well as sporting programs for local schools. These programs introduce more people to climbing, making it a more inclusive sport. With fresh blood and fresh ideas being fed back into the wall and sport for years to come.


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Salim Hafajee

Trustee


How long have you been a trustee?

13 years

Profile

I am a lawyer working in healthcare regulation. In the past I've worked at the independent bar defending and prosecuting people charged with criminal offences. Prior to qualifying as a barrister I spent the early part of my career as a special needs and English as a second language teacher.

Although I spent quite a few years climbing in the late 80s through the 90s, I stopped some years ago.. I am a very keen cyclist, commuting to work every day and also going out on a long ride most weekends. This year I managed the Ridelondon 100 for Shelter.

I am also an obsessive photographer (have not left home without at least one camera on me since I was 18 years old!) but also a keen collector of photography books by other photographers. If I didn't have to work I could happily spend my days wandering the streets looking for the decisive moment!

Why did you become a trustee of DTC

I was and remain interested in contributing to the growth and development of DTC.

What is your personal vision for the future of DTC

To continue to introduce people to the challenges, joys and rewards of climbing; indoors or outdoors. Mile End has a unique history as one of the first indoor walls, and from the start a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere that has encouraged thousands of people to take up climbing. This is what we do best and we should continue doing.


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Matt Teague

Trustee


How long have you been a trustee?

10 years

Profile

I started climbing at Mile End in 2001, back then I was part of the south coast's deep water soloing scene, and Mile End was the only place where you could fall off from a reasonable height. You still can.

I'm an architect by profession and this is what brought me onto the board of trustees to begin with. I still climb, but these days I'm mainly a part time bicycle frame-builder.

Why did you become a trustee of DTC

Architectural advisor.

What is your personal vision for the future of DTC

To continue to build on its place in the community, its great atmosphere of friendliness, inclusivity and authenticity. Its a place for climbers run by climbers.


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Brenda Taggart

Trustee


How long have you been a trustee?

10 years

Profile

I have spent the last 40 years in education both as a teacher, head teacher and researcher. I am currently a Visiting Research Associate at UCL Institute of Education. I am one of the few none climbers on the Board of Trustees which, I think, brings a different perspective to the role.

I particularly enjoy supporting MECW's social programme and often provide the catering at events. In my leisure time I travel, drink wine and knit - often all at the same time.

Why did you become a trustee of DTC

I first became associated with MECW when my two children (now grown-up) started climbing with the 'Kids Club'. I began to appreciate the many benefits of climbing as a sport. It has provided my children with companionship, confidence and many many skills. They have gone onto climb all over the world. Becoming a Trustee provided an opportunity to 'give something back' to a sport that provides wonderful opportunities for people of all ages

What is your personal vision for the future of DTC

It is a privilege to contribute to the Charity and to further its work in providing opportunities for people of all ages to enhance their fitness, confidence and skills. I look forward to extending our charitable reach to new groups and individuals.


Contact




Address

Development through Challenge
Mile End Climbing Wall
Haverfield Road
London E3 5BE.

Email

enquiries@mileendwall.org.uk

Phone

020 8980 0289

Registration Details

Development through Challenge is a registered charity number 299332.