Our Staff
  • Chris Brickel


    Before founding ESOC in 2011, Chris spent 8 yrs as Head of Outdoor Pursuits at the Perse School in Cambridge leading the Perse Exploration Society on expeditions to Ladakh, Ecuador, Kenya and Sweden. ESOC now runs around 50 expeditions and 100's of day events a year for both children and adults, and employs 14 full time expedition and admin staff.


    International Mountain Leader
    Mountain Leader (Summer)
    RYA Yachtmaster (Coastal)
    RYA Dinghy Level 2
    RYA Keelboat Level 2
    RYA Powerboat Level 2
    UKCC Level 1 Canoe Coach
    BCU 4* Canoe Leader
    Far From Help Expedition Medicine I&II
    WEISS Survival Award
    AGB Archery Instructor
    NSRA YPS Rifle Tutor
    Safeguarding Children L3
    SPA Rock Climbing (Training)
    Winter Mountain Leader (Training)
    UKCC Level 2 Canoe Coach (Training)
    STCW 95 Personal Survival Techniques

  • Mary Clare

    Head of Admin

    Mary went to school with Chris at Christ’s Hospital, Horsham, and was part of the same excellent Scout troop. As the Head of Admin she ensures everyone is where they need to be (fully supplied with Earl Grey of course) and puts her Latin degree to good use by helping to keep us grammatically accurate.


    Level 4 Tea Making
    Level 3 Brickelology

  • Mark Campbell

    Head of Young Explorers & Senior Instructor

    Mark has spent the last 20 years working in and managing outdoor activity centres in the UK and aboard. Keen on all things 'outdoors' he has a special love for anything water based and has trained Bucks Fires & Rescue in water safety for the last 10 years. He enjoys a challenge and has competed in DW Kayak Race a number of times.


    Mountain Leader (Summer)
    BCU Level 3 Coach
    RYA Senior Dinghy Instructor
    RYA Advanced Dinghy Instructor
    RYA Powerboat Instructor
    RYA Personal Water Craft Instructor
    RYA Start Windsurfing Instructor
    GB Archery Instructor
    BCU Foundation Safety and Rescue Course Provider
    UKCC 4* Open Canoe Leader
    UKCC 4* Kayak (training)
    UKCC Stand Up Paddle board Instructor
    BDA Dragon Boat Helm
    BCU Bell Boat Coach
    SPA Trained

  • Alex Chapman

    Assistant Director

    One of Chris' former pupils and a member of the Perse Exploration Society. Alex was Troop Adjutant for PES's predecessor, the 5th Cambridge Scouts and continues the spirit of that role as Assistant Director. Coordinating between the admin and operational teams, ensuring everything is planned in good time and generally keeping us all on our toes while also watching our backs.


    Dry Wit - Lvl 10
    Zen Calm 5*

  • Gordie McPherson

    Head of Expeditions and Events

    Gordie has committed his professional life to the outdoor activity and marine industries at practitioner and management level for the last 10 years. He has a passion for sharing all things nautical! Before joining ESOC, Gordie was employed as a RYA Instructor and skipper on the Thames. His passion for sailing has taken him to Greece, Egypt and the Canaries


    RYA Yachtmaster Offshore Commercially endorsed
    RYA Powerboat Instructor Coastal & safety boat endorsed
    RYA Dinghy Instructor Coastal
    RYA VHF/SRC Examiner
    RYA Safe and Fun Safeguarding
    RYA Basic Survival Techniques
    RYA Professional Practices and Responsibilities
    UKCC L1 Kayak and Canoe Coach
    BCU Bellboat Coach
    BCU Canoe Safety Test
    BCU Foundation Safety and Rescue Training
    BCU 3 star
    SMBLA Trail Cycle Leader
    GNAS Archery leader
    BOF Level 1 Teacher
    ITC Outdoor first Aid
    Outdoor Incident Management CPD
    Disability Awareness in Outdoor Pursuits CPD
    BOF Teaching Orienteering part 1 & 2 CPD
    Teaching Scottish Outdoor Access Code CPD

  • Matt Williams

    Corporate Client Liaison

    Having worked with us on our Woodland Adventure Programme for over a year, Matt looks after many of our adult groups and responsibility for expedition planning. A trained actor, Matt is most at home in the beautiful Welsh mountains where he spends many weekends walking.


    First Aid 8hr
    RYA Powerboat Level 2

  • Ruairi Teahan

    Woodland Adventure Team

    Ruairi has been a member of the Scouts Association since primary school. He was assistant leader at his local unit for many years and was specially selected to attend the World Scout Moot in Kenya in July 2010. Following this Ruairi climbed Mount Kilimanjaro. He is an experienced climber and high-ropes instructor and is skilled in both canoeing and kayaking.


    First Aid at Work
    Climbing Wall Award with Abseil module
    Single Pitch Award Trained
    Mountain Leader Summer Trained
    UKCC BCU Level 1 Coach
    RYA Level 2 Powerboat
    Community Sports Leader Level 2 Awards in Archery and Fencing
    CTC Trail Leader
    Forest Schools Level 2 Trained

  • Christabel Davy

    Expedition and Events Team

    An expert Horsewoman, Christabel has spent many years before joining ESOC working in stables and teaching young people to ride safely. A classically trained Actress, she has also spent time working on community projects in Kenya and South Africa and as a teaching assistant in London schools.


    Mountain Leader Summer (Training)
    WMT Expedition Medicine, Far From Help
    Level 3 Forest School Leader
    RYA First Aid
    RYA Keelboat Level 2
    RYA Day Skipper
    RYA Powerboat Level 2
    BCU 2* (Canoe & Kayak)

  • Alex "Q" Leiserach


    Alex is a keen crew member for many classic car teams and has spent many weekends supporting the drivers and their vehicles. For 5 years he worked for VW Heritage looking after their equipment and ensuring everything was maintained to the highest standards. A former Christ's Hospital Scout, this has set him in great stead to manage the ESOC stores and maintain the ESOC equipment.


    Trinity Diploma in Stage Management and Technical Theatre

  • Eoin Dornan

    D of E Cordinator

    Eoin's is a semi domesticated outdoor instructor. He has worked with a large variety of companies and clients over the past decade, ranging from residential multi activity courses to one to one work with disadvantaged children. He is a keen rock climber and mountain biker and most weekends can be found either blubbering gently on some rock face or hurtling down a mountain bike trail


    Mountain Leader (Summer)
    SPA Rock Climbing
    Trail Cycle Leader
    Level 1 Certificate in Coaching Paddlesport
    BSc in Software Systems (you never know when it'll come in handy. It hasn't as of yet)

  • Daisy Hutchison

    Admin Team

    Daisy recently graduated in engineering at Oxford University but has been a regular Leader with the Exploration Society since attending a Sweden Expedition as a 6th Form pupil. A keen sailor, canoeist and mountaineer she takes every opportunity to hone her skills. She has gained childcare experience working at her mum's nursery for several years.


    RYA First Aid
    RYA Keelboat Level 2
    RYA Day Skipper
    BCU 1* Canoe

  • Will Ellice

    Bespoke Team

    Will comes to us from ‘Sharky and George’ bringing with him years of experience working with children of all ages. He has organised and run parties of all shapes and sizes in the U.K. and abroad, for both children and adults. Will puts his training as an actor to good use in our various treasure hunts! In his spare time, Will enjoys Marathon running, all forms of water sports and climbing.


    B.A., Acting
    RYA Powerboat Level 2
    RYA First Aid
    ITC Outdoor First Aid

  • Lauran Dees

    Young Explorers Team

    Lauran has spent the last five years teaching watersports on the South Coast as well as abroad. She’s also spent time teaching primary school PE and is now part of our Young Explorers team


    RYA Senior Dinghy instructor
    BCU L2 Paddlesport coach
    Windsurf instructor
    Level 2 PE and sports coach - Primary

  • Craig Coupe

    Head of Woodland Adventure

    Craig started out in the Royal Navy before moving on to become a watersports instructor and then a manager of a large outdoor centre on the South Coast. A Yachtmaster and Cruising Instructor, Craig now coordinates our large Woodland Adventure programme and skippers boats on our Buccaneer trips


    RYA Yachtmaster (Offshore)
    RYA Cruising Instructor
    Windsurfing Instructor
    First Aid Trainer

  • Charlie Astor


    As well as helping found ESOC, Charlie runs “Sharky and George”, a hugely successful children’s entertainment company based in London. After gaining a degree in French and Politics from Bristol, he abandoned a city job to start his own business. Charlie has now run many camps and events for all ages, and is a keen sailor and ski mountaineer.


    RYA Day Skipper
    RYA Powerboat Level 2

  • Tracy Grant

    Stalwart Freelancers

    A keen mountaineer who also loves canoeing, camping, and any outdoor activities, Tracy also runs the largest D of E Open group in Cambridgeshire. A qualified teacher with 25 years experience, Tracy first got involved as a parent helping with Base Camp sessions at the Perse School and loved it so much she is now a key part of the Exploration Society.


    Mountain Leader (Summer)
    SPA Rock Climbing
    BCU 3* Kayak
    BCU 2* Canoe
    Foundation Safety and Rescue Test (FSRT)
    RYA Dingy Level 2
    RYA Powerboat Level 2
    MIAS Mountain Bike Leader (Expedition)
    Duke of Edinburgh Award Assessor
    QTS (Primary, Secondary and Youth Work)
    Wilderness First Aid, Advanced
    ASA Swimming Coach
    Food Hygiene Certificate
    MiDAS Driving Certificate

  • George Whitefield


    The third ESOC director and the George in “Sharky and George”, George has unlimited enthusiasm and energy. After reading Biology at Bristol, he turned away from Headhunting for the financial sector to run children’s parties and events. A keen sailor, he and Charlie recently swam the Solent for charity and are already planning their next challenge.


    RYA Day Skipper
    RYA Dinghy Instructor
    RYA Powerboat Level 2
    Advanced PADI Diver
    RYA First Aid