About me 

About me 

Let me share with you my knowledge of and passion for the outdoors in and around Sheffield. Activity with Open Gates Outdoors is more an awakening than a walk. The Open Gates Outdoors guarantee is that we will give you a greater sense of place. 
"A person who never was lost, never went very far." 
Sheffield Clarion Ramblers 1900-2015 
"A person who never was lost, never went very far." 
Sheffield Clarion Ramblers 1900-2015 

My Passion 

My Passion 

I am George Yates and I set up Open Gates Outdoors in May 2023. I was born in Sheffield and have lived in the City all my adult life. I was inspired to start Open Gates Outdoors because of two passions I have long held; first exploring and learning about the urban and rural environments in and around Sheffield, and second widening the diversity of those who benefit from this unique urban and rural environment. It is a matter of social justice that everyone has the opportunity to improve their physical and mental wellbeing by enjoying the outdoors. 

My interest in Sheffield 

My interest in Sheffield 

For as long as I can remember I have been intrigued by my home City and its surrounding area. I have always been fascinated to learn about its history by exploring and reading. I have been inspired by local history and guide books such as Hallamshire (Joseph Hunter 1819), Historic Hallamshire (David Hey), Chantry Land (Harold Armitage 1912), and the Annual Handbooks of Sheffield Clarion Ramblers (1921-1964). The urban and rural landscape in and around Sheffield is unique. There is so much to discover. 

My enjoyment of the outdoors 

My enjoyment of the outdoors 

I am an active fell runner and walker. I have been a member of Dark Peak Fell Runners for 25 years and am a member of the Fell Runners Association. I am also a member of The Rucksack Club, a national club of walkers climbers and mountaineers. Whenever I can I run, walk, or cycle and am constantly uplifted by what I discover and who I meet. 
 

My wellbeing  

My wellbeing  

This combination of a sense of place and exercise improves my wellbeing and self awareness. I am committed to supporting other people in benefiting in a similar way from the environment we are blessed with in and around Sheffield. 
 

My background 

My background 

Prior to setting up Open Gates Outdoors I worked in education in Sheffield for 16 years. My first role in education was 5 years as a learning mentor in a secondary school in north Sheffield helping students break down barriers to their learning. This role included leading the outdoor education programme which confirmed to me the power of the outdoors to give confidence and improve life chances.  
 
This was followed by teaching A level History, Politics and Sociology at a sixth form in north Sheffield for 11 years. Before working in education I was a corporate/commercial solicitor in Sheffield for ten years. My background of working for large employers in both the public and private sector enables me to appreciate what employers need from team activities and how their teams can benefit from being in the outdoors. 

My Qualifications 

My Qualifications 

I have been qualified by Mountain Training (on behalf of the British Mountaineering Council) to lead groups and individuals in Hill and Moorland Areas since 2007 and am experienced in leading school and adult groups.  
 
I am in the process of extending this qualification to summer mountain leader so Open Gates Outdoors will be qualified to take clients as groups or individuals into the high mountains. I am a member of the Mountain Training Association. 
 
I have completed training in Health Coaching accredited by the Personalised Care Institute (PCI) and am currently working towards a Level 5 certificate in Effective Coaching and Mentoring accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) which I will complete in January 2024. I have completed an Enhanced DBS check and hold an Enhanced DBS certificate. 

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