Our patrons and trustees

Our patrons

Baroness Rennie Fritchie DBE

Baroness Rennie Fritchie DBE

Baroness Fritchie has two main posts: she is Chair of Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire and she is also Consultant on Strategy and Leadership working out of Mainstream Development.

Rennie Fritchie was created a Dame Commander of the British Empire in 1996. In 2005 she was made a Life Peer and as Baroness Fritchie of Gloucester she sits as a Crossbencher in the House of Lords. Seven Universities have awarded her honorary degrees and she is a past Chair of Council and Pro-Chancellor of Southampton University.

Baroness Fritchie is Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire, she was also Patron of Women in Banking from April 2009 to June 2012. From 1999 until 2006 she was The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

Howard Smedley

Howard Smedley

After medical training in London and Cambridge, Howard Smedley was appointed to a Consultant post in Canterbury in 1985.

For 10 years, he was Clinical Director of Oncology, and during this time experienced outdoor based training first hand, and soon established this as part of regular Staff Development.

This was so successful that extension into Direct Patient involvement soon followed. And that was the beginning of Odyssey.

Steve Gough

Steve Gough

Steve’s last working role was at BMI’s Chaucer Hospital in Canterbury, where he occupied the position of Executive Director. Prior to this, he spent 15 years as a manager at Outward Bound, where he played a key role in designing management development programmes based on experiential learning in the outdoors.

While Warden of the Outward Bound Centre at Rhowniar, he was also helmsman of the Aberdovey Lifeboat and a Mountain Rescue Team Leader.

After over 20 years of running Odyssey, and as co-Founder, Steve is taking a well-earned rest from the role of Chairman. However, he is definitely not being let off the hook totally! In between sailing trips, or looking after his bees, he will still be very much involved with our activities.

Our trustees

Our Board of Trustees oversee all our work and play a crucial role as advisors, fundraisers and advocates. Together, they bring a broad spectrum of experience, skills and knowledge, which are essential attributes for the vital work of the Board.

Their involvement ensures that Odyssey runs a course which is challenging yet safe, well funded yet cost effective, and guarantees a life enhancing experience which is second to none.

Simon Mccalla

Simon McCalla

Simon has spent 30 years as a Technologist, working across the pharmaceutical, retail, supply-chain, entertainment and technology sectors. He has worked in both executive and non-executive roles, recently completing a term as the Senior Independent Director and interim Chair of the Board of the British Mountaineering Council.

Simon is a keen mountaineer, cyclist and canoeist and has worked as a BCU and BMC instructor for children’s charities in the UK. He has two daughters who love nothing more than getting outside, jumping in boats or swinging around on a rock face!

Clare Evans

Clare lives near Brighton and worked in the financial service sector for over 22 years before starting her own business in 2003. She is a best selling author and award winning Time Management and Productivity Coach working with individuals and organisations in the UK and internationally. She also works as a Business Mentor for the Prince’s Trust.

Clare attended an Odyssey Challenge course in 2014 and as a result has fundraised for Odyssey by cycling through Wales on the Castle to Castle cycle ride in 2015 and the Swedish Canoe Challenge in 2017.

She combines her love of the outdoors with volunteering for the South Downs National Park, Sussex Wildlife Trust and the RSPB. In her spare time she enjoys walking, cycling and watching the wildlife in her garden.

Jennifer Clark

Jennifer Clark

I am a seasoned sustainability leader, qualified coach and consultant with a pragmatic and empathetic approach to all sustainability and people challenges.

Volunteering in the community with various charities is both important to me and very rewarding. I am a Corporate Social Responsibility Associate, with the CSR Accreditation scheme, which supports and encourages small to medium size businesses engage more with the environment, society and local charities. I am also a Tutor at Cambridge University on the Sustainable Leasdership in Real Estate Programme

With 32 years’ experience, I was Director of Sustainability for Skanska UK who won several prestigious awards for leading work in this field. More latterly I was Senior Executive Vice President for Skanska construction at the global level and a non-executive on the board for Skanska USA Civil Engineering, driving sustainability strategy and combining it effectively with business goals.

Janette Hannon

Janette Hannon

Janette is a retired Nurse Specialist, having worked in the NHS for over 30 years in general nursing, midwifery, infection control and public health. A keenness in education involved her teaching in diverse settings that included prisoner, graduate, post-graduate and overseas education.

She is an active member of Winslow Rotary Club.

With a passion for outdoor life and wellbeing, she’s a running coach for 261 fearless. 261 Fearless is a global social running network, empowering and uniting women through running.

In 2014 Janette participated in an Odyssey course. She then went on to fundraise and has taken part in many of the Odyssey events.
In 2019 Janette brought together Odyssey and 261 Fearless Club Bicester to launch the first Kirtlington Park cross country run.

Janette is married to Damian a local GP (retired). She is a keen skier, loves running, cycling and travelling. She enjoys village life, family, friends and her developing garden.

Dave Scott trustee for The Odyssey Project

Dave Scott

Dave is currently working as an Organisation Development Specialist for Nottingham City Council. His role includes leadership development, change management and coaching, and he has a reputation for supporting teams in crisis. He has enjoyed a varied career as a training and development consultant working across many different sectors including brewing, steel making, utilities and financial services. He has been lucky to spend time working in Japan, Southern Africa, the USA and across Europe. His first official training role was at Outward Bound Rhowniar with Steve Gough, Charles Lyster and Hugo Iffla as his managers and mentors so the Odyssey roots run deep.

Dave was invited to join the Odyssey team to support the first courses in Kent and has continued to help out at times ever since. Dave worked as a tutor and course director on several courses, helped at early conferences and undertook work with Prostate Cancer UK on behalf of Odyssey. He has fond memories of his Sahara Trek.

Dave is based in Matlock at the edge of the Peak District and enjoys walking, canoeing and climbing with his wife Kath, son Jack and Oscar the dog.

George Chandler

George is a retired Project Manager, Kent born and bred (a Dover Shark) and has lived in the County all his life, initially graduating from Higher Education as a trained Cartographer (a long time before the Internet had taken over the world of proper maps).  He then qualified as a Civil Engineer and spent the next 40 years working in Local Government on highways, regeneration projects and latterly the roll-out of high speed broadband into the rural hinterland of the county.

He is a trained Management Coach, an Advanced Driving tutor for the local Kent Rospa Group, and a practice Health Champion Volunteer for his local GP surgery. He doesn’t like to be idle, so volunteers to help others and has a passion for developing new ways of thinking and working.

With engines built into his DNA, he is a moderate cyclist, a very committed motorcyclist and an Advanced car driver and can usually be found out and about on the highways and byways of the county.

He became involved with Odyssey in 2016 when his wife Jan was given a place on a local Kent Odyssey Challenge course. To say the impact the course had on Jan was startling is a massive understatement.     She continued to live a full, happy and very active life (including a lot of motorcycling!), exceeding the oncologists predictions, finally succumbing in 2020 to her terminal diagnosis.    George does fundraising in her memory – mostly involving crazy challenges – two wheels, mountains, old cars, or just something absolutely nuts!   The bonkers the better.