Teaching safety in the hills
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About Glossop Navigation Skills and its Founder

William Westhead is the founder of Glossop Navigation Skills (GNS), the idea being to provide instruction in navigation across moorland, fells and downs for those who have little or no previous navigation experience and/or those wanting to re-learn old skills. William has over thirty years experience in the hills and mountains of the UK and Ireland in Summer and Winter conditions. He has overseas experience in the Central Massif of Los Picos de Europa in Spain, the Serre de Tramuntana Range in Mallorca, the Allgauer Alpen in Bavaria and Austria and the Himalay of Eastern Nepal where he summited Mera Peak (6,431 meters) in 2007 and completed the gruelling Makalu to Everest Mountaineering Route in 2011.

Course Director Bill Westhead in Nepal

In 1992, William passed his Mountain Leader Training Course with the former Mountain Leader Training Board (MLTB). In 2012, he was awarded the Walking Group Leader qualification and, in 2013, went on to pass the revised Mountain Leader Training Course. In the same year, he became a Course Provider for the National Navigation Award Scheme (NNAS) at Bronze and Silver Award levels and in 2014, William was awarded the Hill and Moorland Leader qualification through the Mountain Training Association.

In 2015, in preparation for a navigation course with a deaf client, William attended Deaf Awareness Training (DAT) with the Deafness Support Network (DSN), an organisation dedicated to providing wider access and equality for Deaf and D/deaf people. Following DAT, Glossop Navigation Skills made reasonable adjustments to the navigation courses it offers, recognising that the needs of the deaf are different from the needs of those who can hear. We understand that deafness can range from mild, moderate to severe and that some deaf people may lipread, some may speak and some may use British Sign Language (BSL). Whilst we do not profess to have lipreading or BSL training, we do understand our role in working towards helping deaf people participate. For more information on the work of DSN, visit dsnonline.co.uk.

In 2016, following a course of additional training with NNAS in Bristol then in the Brecon Beacons, South Wales, William became a Course Provider for the prestigious NNAS Gold Award Level, an Approved Assessor for NNAS Bronze, Silver and Gold Awards and an Approved NNAS Navigation Tutor in all three awards. For more information on the NNAS and its navigation courses, visit nnas.org.uk.

In September 2017, William joined forces with Karl Duke, the owner of Dukes Coffee Shop, High Street East, Glossop, to form "Walking with Dukes", an inclusive weekday walking group, aimed at those feeling lonely or who lack the confidence to join a large community group, those recovering from minor illnesses, or those who simply want to get out of the house. It provides an opportunity for all comers to participate in guided history walks around the local hills to assist in their physical and mental well-being.

William is a Full Member of the Mountain Training Association and holds current First Aid qualifications in Emergency First Aid Skills, Outdoor First Aid and Outdoor Incident Management. He has Civil Liability Insurance cover with Hiscox Insurance Company via Mountain Training Association.

When not in the hills and mountains, William maintains his interest in history. He holds a BA (Hons) degree in History (2004), a Masters degree in Manchester Regional History (2008) and attended a year long Open University Course studying Religion in History (2010). He is a Manchester man by birth and a Glossopian by choice.

For further details of Glossop Navigation Skills and William Westhead himself and for latest news and schedules, please feel free to visit the Glossop Navigation Skills business Facebook site or the Glossop Navigation Skills business Twitter site. Simply follow the links in the top right hand corner of the screen.

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