Cornwall LivingIssue #120
A life hanging loose
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work at Hangloose, spending your days sending people down the zip lines over the Eden Project?
Spending his days sending people down zip-lines over the iconic biomes of the Eden Project, we catch up with Duty Manager, James, about his life as an Outdoor Instructor.
But first, a bit about Hangloose Adventure and how it aims to help the local community. The company prides itself on offering employment to locals. It’s a business that believes hiring from Cornwall’s deep pool of talent signals to customers that it’s truly invested in Cornwall and the surrounding areas; in supporting Cornwall’s growth, the wellbeing of the population, and the health of the local community.
There’s no doubt that the team love to be outdoors in all types of weather, working at heights and ensuring visitors have an amazing time on the zip-wire, giant swing, aerial trekking course and all the other activities they have to offer. To find out more, we ask James a few questions to gain an insight into life as an outdoor instructor here in Cornwall.
How did you become an instructor at Hangloose Adventure?
“I started as a technician,” says James, who began working at Hangloose at the age of 19, “working my way to Instructor and then Senior Instructor as my experience grew, and following the appropriate training. This led to my current role as Duty Manager.”
James explains that in his early 20s, he spent a lot of time travelling, “the seasonal nature of the business allowing some flexibility for this over the winter months”, but now he is well and truly settled here in Cornwall. “I love the benefits of having a 9 to 5 job, whilst still being able to work outside.”
Did you always want to work outdoors?
“Definitely! I have always been active, and I have a background in rugby and surfing – so a lot of my free time is spent outdoors too.” James also achieved an Outdoor Education Diploma at Truro College, which he says “gave me an insight into the outdoor pursuits industry, before working at Hangloose.”
What does a typical day involve?
“With safety at the forefront of every instructor’s mind, the morning sees a lot of equipment checking and organisation for the day ahead,” says James. “Once everything has been cleared as working and safe to use, our attention turns to making our visitors feel as comfortable as possible, ensuring they have the best time that they can! We have a great team here at Hangloose, and everyone plays an important role in the smooth running of the site. We have a lot of fun, too.”
What is the best part of working as an instructor?
“I would say it’s helping people to overcome genuine fears,” explains James. “We get a lot of visitors who are petrified of heights, and don’t always anticipate what a challenge some of the activities may be. It’s so rewarding getting someone down the zip-wire with confidence when they had previously refused. The adrenaline is infectious, and they usually ask to go again!”
How should anybody reading this look to start their own career as an instructor?
“I would say that a desire to support and help people is essential, along with a love for the outdoors, as it can get very wet sometimes! Qualifications aren’t always necessary either – if you have good social skills, a good attitude and are keen to learn, then there’s always room on the team for you.”
The good news is that Hangloose Adventure is looking for more individuals like James to join the team. And it’s really a fantastic company to work for; as well as offering incredible adventure experiences with the iconic Eden Project as a backdrop, Hangloose works to help and support local charities based in Cornwall and the south west, so within your new role there you’d be part of a company that genuinely seeks to give back.
Indeed, the team love hearing stories about individuals or organisations doing amazing things to help the community, even more so if they can be involved. And whilst they receive requests from all over the UK, they make it a priority to first help those charities and organisations within the ‘PL’ and ‘TR’ postcode areas. So if you would like to make a booking for a fundraising event, be sure to get in touch and let them know how Hangloose Adventure can help.
Hangloose Adventure (Eden)