Our Team

Our Team

Meet the Odyssey crew

The Odyssey experience is only as good as the staff who deliver it, so we consistently use the very best that can be found.

The five who run any given course are drawn from a much larger pool of staff trained in delivering Odyssey courses. Staff members are picked on a rotational basis, to ensure fresh enthusiasm and diversity in running the courses.

Most of the staff normally work as freelancers in the field of outdoor development training, with both charities and businesses. Between them, they have an immense breadth of experience, a passionate belief in the power of the outdoors and a huge sense of fun. They are also incredibly well tuned with the cancer element to the course and will ensure that each participant feels comfortable at all times.

Meet some of them here.

Hugo Iffla

Hugo Iffla

Odyssey Project Director

Hugo has been the Project Director for many years, and is responsible for the design, resourcing and staffing of Odyssey programmes as well as creating and implementing safety policy. He is also responsible for the day to day administration of Odyssey, and increasingly for looking to the strategic development of the charity and generating reliable income streams to sustain the programmes.

Hugo has led expeditions to Namibia, the Sahara, Nepal, Patagonia, Vietnam, Northern Sweden and Norway helping to generate funds for various charities including Odyssey.

Ann Thomas

Ann Thomas

Ann has worked with people in the outdoors for over 20 years and has experience with groups ranging from managers to youth at risk. Her practical experience is backed up by considerable academic knowledge and she has conducted research into the effects of outdoor development programmes on participants. Ann has worked in Britain, North America, Africa and Europe and currently lives in Mid Wales. She has worked on the Odyssey programmes since they began.

Sandi Burrows

Sandi Burrows

Sandi is currently studying for a Degree in Modern Languages at the Open University. She lives in the beautiful Weald of Kent and any spare time is taken up with hobbies such as photography, learning to paint with watercolour and tracing her family history. She took part in an Odyssey course herself in 2006 and has since worked as a volunteer on a number of courses. Sandi loves being part of the team and is pleased to have become an Odyssey cook. She hopes to provide the same high standard of cuisine that previous Odyssey participants have enjoyed.

Robin Clark

Robin Clark

Robin trained as an Outdoor Education teacher and then had a long career as a Physical Education Officer in the RAF, which largely saw him delivering adventurous training courses and leading expeditions for military personnel. He commanded both RAF and Joint Service outdoor pursuit centres as well as holding various mountain rescue, training officer and staff officer appointments, picking up post-graduate qualifications in leadership and development training along the way. Since ‘retiring’ Robin has run a specialist musical instrument business from his home in N. Wales as well as continuing to purse his passion for outdoor activities: ski touring in the winter and surfing and cycling in the summer. Music is a large part of his life and nowadays he can usually be found with a mountain dulcimer or other weird folk instrument in his hands. Robin’s claim to fame is that he won the ‘Best Baby’ prize at a carnival in London in 1962 judged by Margaret Thatcher.

Aly Purssell

Aly Purssell

Aly has worked with groups in the outdoors for the past 25 years and for Odyssey since 2001. In recent years her role has also involved liaising with health professionals wanting to refer their patients onto Odyssey courses. Her home is in the Lake District which she gravitated to in 1991 in the quest for work.

Now a self employed trainer she enjoys hill walking with her husband Tony and energetic black lab, Sparky; Dragon Boating on Windermere; mountain biking, travel, photography and generally having adventures. In 2010 she paddled the Great Glen with a group of nurses as a fundraiser for Odyssey and also cycled the Coast to Coast. As a more leisurely activity she enjoys writing. One day she hopes to pen a Hollywood Blockbuster!!

Nick Ray

Nick Ray

Nick is fortunate to live on a yacht in the harbour of the colourfully iconic town of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, Scotland. His working life has been dedicated to offering opportunities for others to make deeper connections in their lives through outdoor experiences. His passion is seeking out the wild places of the British Isles and immersing himself in them, sometimes enjoying the odd adventure along the way. Nick can most often be found in his sea kayak exploring the remote coastline of Western Scotland. He is an aspirant tin-whistle player, a keen photographer and enjoys making short films of his adventure experiences.

Camilla Lailey

Camilla Lailey

Back in the 1980’s Camilla ran wilderness canoe trips in Algonquin National Park in Canada and toured England with Theatre in Education programmes from a large white Mercedes van with a dodgy engine. Since then she has continued to use both the outdoors and theatre projects to run development training and experiential learning programmes for a huge variety of groups from criminal justice to corporate management. She lives in Wiltshire with her husband Chris and son Felix. She loves surf trips with her body board and van, and hut to hut trips on bikes, skis and on foot.

Sian Hallewell

Sian Hallewell

Odyssey has remained in my heart since I was a participant back in 2006. Now all these years later I’m thrilled to be involved on a professional level helping write fundraising applications for a cause that means so much to me. As a proud Nana to 6 grandchildren my joy is in watching them grow and thrive. No better reason to get out the scissors and conjure up a superhero costume for a favourite teddy or bake a dinosaur cake! Mostly retired putting time before money, and spending much of my time as a patient voice/advocate working with the NHS or with my beloved grandchildren. I swim once a week, followed by a much longer chat with friends, and pilates once a week also – which after nearly a year I think I’m getting the hang of!

Evelyn Daley

Evelyn Daley

Evelyn is our Volunteer Engagement and Development Officer and joined the team in March 2019. A bookkeeper by profession she is passionate about charities, volunteering and fundraising. Evelyn volunteers an international relief and development charity, a national cat charity and a local theatre group where she is the secretary and runs the bar. She has taken part in numerous fundraising challenges including a fire walk and the Thames Bridges Trek.

Nuala Dunn

Nuala Dunn

Nuala has been involved in education for all of her working life, initially teaching in schools, then in outdoor education centres, as a practitioner and manager. She is an outdoor, environmental arts educator, working across a range of sectors with children and adults. She is passionate about the environment and enjoys creating with paint, clay and any other media she can find. Nuala enjoys landscape painting – in situ – trying to portray the changing light of the Welsh landscape. She enjoys journeys , by boat, bike or on foot and has been fortunate enough to travel extensively. Nuala has been involved with Odyssey for around 10 years.

Charlotte Hall

Charlotte Hall

Charlotte is a creative graphic designer, illustrator and maker from Brighton that was a participant on an odyssey course a few years back when in recovery from her own breast cancer. She now is lucky enough to help and volunteer for Odyssey and has been a passionate fundraiser for the course having skydived and run Brighton half marathon in 2018 to raise funds. She is currently embarking on a journey to retrain in Paramedic science to give back and help others. She can be found running and roller-skating along Brighton seafront most of the year round and enjoying the Sussex countryside.

Chris Harding

Chris Harding

Creative although not particularly artistic, Chris enjoys building cabins, making bespoke pieces of furniture, and collecting chairs. He also has passion for World music and works at Womad festival each year.

A keen cyclist / mountain biker with an interest in off road touring and cycling expeditions.

Chris has provided outdoor experiences for over 30 years in a variety of roles. He particular enjoys face to face work with people, supporting, encouraging and sharing his love of the outdoors.

He has managed activity centres in the Alps and the Mediterranean, led and organised treks in the mountains of Central Europe, Africa and India. More recently Chris has worked as an outdoor educator for schools and universities and provided outdoor elements for experiential learning and personal development courses.

Emma Jenkins

Emma Jenkins

Since taking part in an Odyssey course as a participant herself, Emma wanted give a bit back to the charity. She has now volunteered on a number of courses and loves bring involved with the participants.

She is always amazed at the way the courses bring back confidence to each person, and that they return home with a renewed vigour & purpose.

In her spare time Emma is in a music duo with her husband and involved in the local running group.

Shane Flutter

Shane Flutter

A second generation Odyssey helper – Shane loves being part of the course!  She loves wild places, particularly the sea where she kayaks and rows Cornish Gigs. When at home she does lots of event catering, and runs a small campsite during the summer.  Shane is very creative, and enjoys interior design along with woodwork and sewing. She is married with three grown up children, and based in Cornwall. She finds it hugely rewarding to be part of an Odyssey adventure.