heena dave

Heena Dave
Head of Programmes and Partnerships

“A day with my climbing shoes means a day of challenge, pain and overriding exhilaration at having overcome some mental or physical barrier.  Ultimately it means that a day on the rocks will give me the precious gift of learning something new.”

About Heena

When did you start working for LtL and what does your job involve?

I started my amazing role with LtL in June 2020.  I’m lucky enough to get to work with an inspiring team of experts to design programmes and projects that have the sole purpose of bringing our vision to life by making sure that every child and young person has access to outdoor learning and play.  This means collaborating with many different organisations to ensure delivery of stimulating grounds for play and learning, developing cutting-edge projects to enable pupils to become closer to nature and helping teachers to develop their expertise in outdoor learning and play through training.

The 3 experiences that have best equipped you for this role?

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Starting my career as a Research Manager for the Environment Agency and understanding the importance of creating better outdoor places for people, communities and wildlife.

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Spending time as a volunteer for North Hertfordshire District Council, working in local communities as free play officer and seeing first-hand the benefits of outdoor play on a child’s cognitive, social and emotional development.

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Leading a Science department at Bedford Free School and organising an outdoor rock-climbing trip for our year 11 students.  Using the beautiful landscape of the Peak District to help pupils develop their resilience, build character and manage anxiety during their exam year.

Heena Dave’s LtL Experience

What has been your best day at LtL and why?

I can honestly say that every day at LtL is amazing.  I get to geek out on outdoor learning and play, work with an amazing team of experts and work with educators and school leaders that are dedicated to improving the life chances of the pupils they teach.  It’s a pretty awesome role.

Why climbing shoes?

Whenever I put my climbing shoes on, I’m reminded of this quote by Yvon Chouinard, an American rock climber, environmentalist, and founder of Patagonia “How you climb a mountain is more important than reaching the top.”  The ritual of fastening my shoes tight makes me focus on the how – I know I’ll be spending the day hanging from a rope, figuring out the best sequence for the most difficult moves and trusting my feet from move to move.  A day with my climbing shoes means a day of challenge, pain and overriding exhilaration at having overcome some mental or physical barrier.  Ultimately it means that a day on the rocks will give me the precious gift of learning something new.

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