Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Monday, 19 November 2012


I've just posted an article for In2venture on their website click here to read it and take a look at their Facebook page to view the full photo album.

There are a few extra photos taken by Adrian Wintle that I've "borrowed" with his permission (!) posted on my own Facebook Page (link in right hand tool bar)

I've never really written a lot about In2venture on this blog, just referring to the organisation in passing from time to time so thought it might be a good opportunity this week to rectify this. My personal involvement with the charity goes back to 1993, a lot has happened since then!

In2venture is a Christian charity (Registered Number 518891) and exists today as a Christian Community Committed to the Exploration of Faith Through Outdoor Activity. 

In 1983 the vicar of West Pelton, Rob Bianchi, set up the West Pelton Activity Centre as a non residential centre for activities as a means of reaching young people both locally and across the North of England. The centre existed as an office and store for outdoor equipment, with activities taking place wherever suitable. Many of the young people were either unemployed or social service referrals, which meant that the Centre also ran probation courses. 1987 saw the formation of the West Pelton Centre charity.The work mainly relied on volunteer support.

In 1989 the work had grown to such an extent that Church Army Captain Alan Rainford joined the Centre as assistant manager. From this point a training course in outdoor activities was started and schools also started using the Centre. During this period various outdoor activity clubs were started.

In 1995 Rob left and Alan took over the running of the Centre. Also that year the Centre started to run activities for the Barnabas Trust centre Whithaugh Park, in the Scottish Borders. This work developed and in 1997 Whithaugh Park became the main operating base.

Due to the need for an Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) license, various groups started to affiliate to the centre during this time. Cockerton Outdoor Activity Club (COAC) started at this time, later to become a full project running under the centre in 2002. 

In 2001, Church Army Captain Paul Little joined the centre to support Alan as the youth worker at Whithaugh Park. After joining Paul developed an underground tunnel system called the Walk of Life at the Park. This gave us the opportunity to discuss various topics of faith, such as creation, choices, valuing people, and life after death.

In 2002 the name West Pelton Centre was officially changed to In2venture to signify the growing scope the work that the charity was undertaking; COAC became COAC In2venture in 2003. Paul Little started making links throughout the Scottish Borders and beyond, and in February 2003 the Grafted Project started to form. 

From the end of September 2005 the activity contract at Whithaugh Park came to an end, with Barnabas moving in the Barnabas Adventure team to run the residential activities. Alan’s role changed from being activities manager at Whithaugh Park to general In2venture manager, and the office moved into Newcastleton itself.

From April 2005 In2venture began to offer and run activity programmes at Blaithwaite House which is situated just to the north of the Lake District National Park in Cumbria. This saw a further period of great change within the organisation as technically the Centre began a transition from a largely water based organisation (principle skill set being in Canoeing & Kayaking) to a more land based focus, with new skills developing in Mountaineering, Cave & Mine Exploration. Seven years on this transition is well on the way to completion. 

Furthermore, during this time In2venture for the first time in its history took on the management of a residential centre (Blaithwaite House) and 2009 saw the formation of In2venture Community Interest Company to manage the tenancy at Blaithwaite.

In2venture today sees the principle focus of its mission as:

- Schools Ministry (both residential & non-residential)
- Youth Ministry with local groups in North East England and Cumbria
- The support and development of a Christian Community Committed to the Exploration of Faith Through Outdoor Activity.

There are two In2venture "satellite" groups: COAC In2venture, based in Darlington, County Durham & FOG In2venture based just outside York.

To keep up to date with In2venture visit their website at www.in2v.org 


  1. Fascinating insight in to In2venture and how it came into being. Going from strength to strength!

    1. Thanks Billy don't usually write about this sort of stuff but thought it would be goof to let folk know

    2. Thanks Billy don't usually write about this sort of stuff but thought it would be goof to let folk know

  2. Good to remind ourselves where it all started, where its been and where its going. We had a lot of fun yesterday with FOG outdoor club at my school. The weather decided to fight against us so we pitched tents in the schol hall. So much fun. Thanks Mal!

  3. Sarah, good to hear what you are up to at fog. please send news and info through and I will post on the I2v site / Twitter / fb. Take care. Mal