AGM 2023 – Committee nominations and constitutional amendments

We’ll be holding our second AGM at the Quay Climbing Centre from 6.30pm on Mon 27th November.

The AGM is a bit of a formality, but it will be a chance to review what we’ve achieved together in the last year and set out our plans for the future.

A key part of the AGM is voting in the committee members for next year, and voting on amendments for the club constitution.

We’re pleased to share this year’s committee candidates and constitutional amendments below.

EDI Officer – Joe Spurrell supporting statement

Joe Spurrell is standing as Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Officer at the 2023 AGM. Their nomination is supported by Noa Manton and Char Harrison. This is their supporting statement.

Safeguarding Officer – Liz Morrison supporting statement

Liz Morrison is standing as Safeguarding Officer at the 2023 AGM. Her nomination is supported by Nolan Smyth and Amy Elgar. This is her supporting statement.


A statement following recent speeches at the Conservative party conference

Following the damning and fear mongering distraction tactics from the Conservative party conference, we wanted to speak up. Lets Go Belay and Boulder Together CC are proud to have many trans members, and know how tiring, scary and hurtful the last few days have been for our members, followers, friends and family. We do not condone or support any of the hateful language or policies used within politics at the moment and want to express our love and support for all our members, but especially our Trans members at this time. We fundamentally believe in LGB with the T and we will continue to fight for all LGBT+ people’s acceptance and spaces within climbing, the outdoors, and society.

Allies, raise your voice in any and every way that you can to combat this narrative, contact your MP and use your vote to make a change.

Trans siblings- know that you are always welcome as part of our family and to climb with us. If you need any support, we will do what we can to help. Please keep talking to your support networks, make use of the support lines highlighted and don’t feel like you are alone.
You will always have space and support with us, and we truly love you all. T as in trans, T as in together.


Pride in the Park – Plymouth, Sat 5th August

Want to try something new this pride? Try climbing! The Life Centre climbing team are offering climbing taster sessions this afternoon.

There’s expert instruction from the Life Centre team, a friendly atmosphere, and bargain prices. Try bouldering or roped climbing for just £4.

Just drop-in between 12.30-4pm.


You said, we did – members’ survey results

Many thanks to all who took the time to reply to our members survey and give us valuable insight into what our members want from the club. We really loved all your enthusiasm and positive comment and have taken the feedback provided and put it into action at our last committee meeting.

You said:

  • You would like the committee to be more visible (you weren’t sure who was on the committee) and transparent. – We’re committed to making the committee more visible to members, by updating our website so you can see those who are working behind the scenes on the committee and through a series of social media posts. We’re also going to be updating members more regularly on what’s happening behind the scenes with posts such as these.
  • You would like the website to be kept up to date, especially the calendar – we have committed to keeping the website updated and continuing to update the calendar each month
  • You would like us to plan a beginner friendly outdoor session and/or bouldering trip – we are planning an outdoor bouldering trip and have already hosted a few beginner friendly roped sessions, but will continue to do so over the summer months (weather permitting). We want to arrange sessions for all abilities and support everyone to progress.
  • You have fed back to us that signal isn’t ideal for communication and messages can be overwhelming or missed when there’s lots of activity – we have been looking at using another platform for communication and will be asking members to trial it shortly (once the committee have done so), we’ll then be asking members whether they would prefer to move over to this new platform for communication rather than signal (by way of anonymous vote).
  • You asked for more clarity around planned trips and skill levels required for the trips – we have discussed that most of the trips organised by the climbing club specify the skill level needed, however unofficial trips that members may invite people to aren’t organised by us. We will continue to post the skill levels required for our planned trips, and make sure we’re using language that all members are familiar with. We are always happy to clarify or answer questions should members want to know more details about planned activities.
  • You asked for ‘non-climbing’ social events – we’re really delighted at how being in the club helps people make new friends and find a community. We enjoy chatting in the cafe before climbs (and sometimes pubbing afterwards!), but everyone in the committee volunteers in their spare time and there’s a limit to what we’d organise. We’re really happy for members to organise each other to events, and use group chat to spread the word.


Laura stepping down

We’re really sad to announce that Laura stepped down from the committee in June.

Laura has made some really positive, constructive contributions to the running of the club, including devising and delivering the members’ feedback survey off her own initiative. The positive feedback from the survey is heartening and the suggestions are insightful and actionable – as well as designing the survey, Laura analysed the results, compiled the results into an action plan for the committee.

She’s said she plans to keep climbing with us as a member of the club. Thank you for all your hard work!


Outdoor climbing training courses in July – exclusive for the club

Your chance to learn to lead outdoors, or improve your skills – exclusive free courses for our members in July

We’re delighted to have arranged some exclusive, fully funded courses to help club members learn to climb outside this July, and to support you in coaching and developing other climbers.

The courses will be professionally delivered by our qualified Mountain and Climbing Instructor friends at Ibex Outdoors. The courses are incredible value for money, thanks to full funding by the Alpkit Foundation.

Principles, skills and tactics for lead climbing – Sun 16th July

Want to learn to lead climb outdoors?

If you’ve seconded another climber outdoors, but haven’t learn to lead, this course is the perfect introduction to trad lead climbing.

We’ll cover: crag and route selection, placing and extending runners, principles of good belays, types of belay and when to select them, personal abseiling

Requirements to attend: Min – 10 trad routes seconded, ideally with indoor / sport leading experience.

Venue: aprox 9am-5pm on Dartmoor, exact times and venue TBC

Introducing new climbers to (outdoor) climbing – Sat 15th July

This course is ideal if you know how to lead trad already, and want to learn to bring other climbers outdoors with you safely.

We’ll cover: Crag and route selection, group and environmental impact, equipment, rigging routes simply and safely, belaying outdoors, supervision of belaying

Requirements to attend: Min 5 Trad Lead Climbs or equivalent, an interest in introducing others to outdoor climbing!

Venue: aprox 9am-5pm on Dartmoor, exact times and venue TBC

Sharing your skills – Sun 23rd July

A follow-on course, open to attendees on either of the previous days, to help you recap what you’ve learnt, and learn best practice for passing your skills on to other climbers in the future. Highly recommended!

Syllabus: (may be flexible depending on needs of those attending) Assessing participant experience, basics of teaching and learning, keeping everyone safe when teaching others, developing independence safely.

Requirements to attend: Attended one of the previous courses

Venue: aprox 9am-5pm on Dartmoor, exact times and venue TBC

How to book

The courses are excellent value and an incredible opportunity, but places are limited. To secure your place, we’re asking everyone to pay a £10 deposit, which will be refunded when you attend.

Please fill in a booking form and pay the £10 deposit to the account below:

Pay by bank transfer:
Account name: LGBT Climbing Club
Type: business account
Sort: 30-98-97
Account: 66976062
Ref: Ibex training


Committee ’23: the faces behind the club

We’re all volunteers, who set up and run the club in our own free time, borne out of a love of climbing and the joy of community.

The committee are democratically elected by the membership every year, in our AGM in November.

Mike (he/him), Chair

I have been climbing on and off for 20ish years – indoors and out – and I am a qualified SPA (RCI) instructor. When I struggled to find friends who I felt comfortable to climb with I thought why not create a group to find them? And the club was born! My role as Chair is the overall shaping and organising of the club and supporting the committee and members to keep the club moving forward. Thank you to you all for helping me make this such a lovely club!

Josh (he/him), Club Secretary

I’d been climbing socially for around 5 years, but it really kicked up a gear when Mike and I started climbing outdoors between lockdowns in 2020.
I remember, when I first moved to Exeter, joining an LGBT community group made a huge difference in helping me feel proud of my sexuality, and feel at home in Devon. I really hope that the club, as well as introducing people to our brilliant sport, might do the same for others.
I organise committee meetings and take minutes, and look after the club’s website, email, and data.

Char (they/them), New Members’ Officer

Charlie is a South West based outdoor educator who has worked as a climbing wall instructor (CWI) and currently works as an outdoor educator for a young people’s charity. They are passionate about climbing, coaching people through fear, and growing the climbing community.
Char works to make the club a welcoming place for newcomers, and encourage everyone to be the best climbers they can.

Simon (he/him), Treasurer

I’ve been climbing for 4 years and got involved with the club in late 2021.
It’s my job to keep track of the club’s bank account/money; ensuring that people are up to date with membership payments, and monitoring money spent on equipment etc.

K (they/he), Training and Equipment Officer

K works as a professional rock climbing instructor (RCI) and can smash the toughest climb with the crimpiest holds, all with a smile on their face.
K organises our fabulous outdoor trips, as well as working on identifying the kit we need, looking after it (once we have it) and keeping an eye on training opportunities for the committee and club members.

Jack (he/him), Equity, Diversity & Inclusion Officer

I was introduced to climbing two years ago by my partner, and then we got involved in the creation of the club. At first, I wasn’t sure it would be for me, but I quickly became hooked and absolutely love it! Climbing is a great sport and having an LGBTQ+ community to share it with is magic. I’ve gained so much from it physically, mentally, and socially. I’m passionate about furthering my knowledge of LGBTQ+/intersectional inclusion in climbing by listening to marginalised voices.

Laura (she/her), Members Liaison Officer

Having never climbed before joining the club I gained such a lot in such a short space of time. Namely a sense of community and belonging which has been invaluable to me. As members liaison officer I am here to discuss any issues, questions or opportunities club members may wish to talk about. Listening to and reporting members feedback to the committee when appropriate and assisting with any issues that members may have in accessing the club. I hope you enjoy being part of this club as much as I do.

And you?

It takes a lot of different skills to run a club, and there’s always a chance to get involved. If you’d like to help, talk to a member of the committee. We could find specific tasks for you to help with, offer you a place on the committee as a non-voting member – or you could even stand for election.


Reflections on IDAHoBit

To mark International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia, club member Beau offers these thoughts.

On International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, and Transphobia (IDAHoBiT) we could get lost in the data that shows the continued rise in hate crime, daily attacks on trans folk in the media, and the stripping of rights for queer people all across the world, and this would become yet another bleak day of dwelling on how hard it is to just exist as an LGBTQ+ person in 2023.

But this climbing club teaches self-compassion – whether that’s taking a break mid-climb because panic is setting in or encouraging every member to bring their whole self to a climbing session. Some of you will be feeling strong today and can practice the fierce side of self-compassion where you take action to alleviate the suffering of others and try to educate those outside the community to become better allies. But for many, myself included, we need to spend today seeking to heal ourselves from the damage caused by the constant homophobia, biphobia, and/or transphobia we experience.

On this IDAHoBiT be tender and accepting of yourself as the glorious individual you are. Do not allow the messages that you are bombarded with to become internalised and do not believe the dark voice in your mind that there is anything wrong with you – because there categorically is not. You are loved and valued and make the world a better place.

This club is a place of protection, safety and nourishing for all queer climbers. If you need support today please reach out, there’s lots of us ready to help.

The image and inspiration for piece are from a blog post written by Lor Sabourin: