Gavin started Moving Mountains in 1991 during a long period of travel which took him to many places around the world.
During many years of travel Gavin was, amongst other jobs, driving overland trucks in southern Africa, teaching in slum schools in Kenya and working ad hoc for a variety of aid agencies. In between extensive trips, mostly to developing countries and mountains, Gavin maintained a base in Ireland and volunteered in Scouting and the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, organizing expeditions and adventure camps for many different groups.
On the back of considerable time spent in the slums Gavin set up Moving Mountains using funds raised from his mountain climbs to help put children through school. The charity became registered in 2001 and is now a large concern with a number of related NGO's and a large staff managing multiple developmental projects.
In 2000 Gavin celebrated the Millennium by attempting to climb the Seven Summits in one year, in the process raising money for Comic Relief by wearing a red nose on each summit! He also ran with the Olympic torch during the London 2012 Olympics in recognition for his charitable work.
Gavin now lectures widely on development education and sustainable development financing, volunteering ethics and running meaningful school trips combining adventure, travel and international community service. He also is a Fellow of Oxford Brookes university and lectures on social development in tourism. He is always involved with the day to day running of Moving Mountains and continually attempting to get funding for the annual programmes we run.
Gavin has climbed Mount Everest six times and trekked to the magnetic North Pole to raise money and awareness for Moving Mountains, which has resulted in an estimated £2 million of funding going to Kenya and Nepal and Borneo. He plans to climb more of the fourteen 8000m peaks and trek to the South Pole in the future.
In recent years Gavin has developed a role as a speaker, both in the management industry and event guest speaker. He often uses the proceeds of the talks to help fund the charity.
CLIMBING MOUNT EVEREST
With six expeditions to the highest mountain in the world to his name, Gavin is able to speak with experience and eloquence about what it means to try and climb to the top of the world. With a track record of climbing both with and without oxygen, alone and with clients, this is a personal odyssey of perseverance and following a dream. As an Everest facilitator and expedition guide, Gavin gets under the gloss and provides a fascinating insight into the costs and practicalities of organising an Everest trip.
MANAGEMENT & LEADERSHIP
No stranger to the difficulties of decision-making in hostile environments, Gavin has spoken to many leading companies and management institutes about the nature of strategic planning, good communication and working as a team. A variety of talks on this subject draw from many experiences of big expeditions and travels around the world to the office and the boardroom. Far from being an irrelevant comparison, these talks are both aspirational and inspirational, with a clear focus on the history of management theory and psychology.
MOVING MOUNTAINS - FROM SLUMS TO SUMMIT
The story of the charity which Gavin has set up and the ethos behind it, this talk looks at how developmental aid can be modernised to represent a modern, progressive approach to an emotive subject. Gavin has had many years of experience working in East Africa, Nepal and Borneo and speaks articulately on setting up NGOs, co-operatives, self-help groups and implementing management structures that enable people to become the architects of their own success.
MAKING TOURISM WORK
A wry look at how tourism has developed in the past twenty years in the age of the global village, and how few people have benefitted from it. One of the world’s largest industries, tourism is still known for exploitation and inequality. Yet the latest Code of Ethics proposed by the UNWTO is forcing companies to take more responsibility for human rights and the impact of tourism on marginalised. With extensive experience in setting up financially sustainable tour companies in East African and Nepal, Gavin talks about how tourism can go beyond the balance sheet and leave a legacy to be proud of.
ADVENTURE HOLIDAYS AROUND THE WORLD
As an expedition guide Gavin has led trips to many of the most iconic destinations in the world and he speaks regularly at clubs and many of the major adventure travel events on climbing the Seven Summits, trekking in Nepal, Tanzania, Kenya, China, Argentina and Russia, to name some. These are down-to-earth shows with a practical view of how to achieve some of these great ambitions. Some of the popular talks include how to climb Kilimanjaro safely and properly, and also Mount Elbrus and some of the popular trekking peaks in Nepal.