Born in the 60’s in inner city Coventry to a Sikh immigrant family. At 16, a school trip introduced her to the mountains where she experienced the WOW moment that changed her life. A force much bigger than her took her to explore wild landscapes of the world! Not something her parents or community were keen on. “It’s not what our girls do!.. what will everyone say??!!” Her drive was so strong she did it anyway at the risk of totally losing her world.
She encountered many complex and painful challenges with people of all backgrounds including her own family/community. Through these emotional and physical challenges, she discovered her own core values. This was a journey of self-discovery, understanding and respecting differences and a passion for environmental protection.
Pammy has been an outdoor/environmental practitioner since 1979 and in 1995 it struck her hard as she noticed the lack of Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic role models in the sector, at every level, from service users to Board level and felt very strongly this had to change.
In 1995 she laid the foundation for what is now Backbone..
Backbone is a leading Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic outdoor environmental education organisation acknowledged on a national and global platform for successfully addressing diversity and inclusion in the sector.
The key to their success is partnership working based on the values of:
Trust and Integrity
Direct Benefit of All Communities
They provide a safe and comfortable space for people and organisations to grow in their uniqueness.
Together with their partners they are making a difference in the sector and to the communities they serve.
‘Adventure’… For some is climbing an unknown peak and for others it is leaving the City. The commonality is leaving the comfort of YOUR home and entering the unknown.. a journey of discovery to magical places!
Learn more about Pammy and the work that Backbone is doing. Listen now via the Tough Girl Podcast. New episodes go live every Tuesday at 7am UK time - Hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out.
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Listen to Pammy Now!
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Who is Pammy and what she does
Being an outdoor practitioner for over 40 years
Working in America and all over the world
Coming back to the UK in 1995
Growing up in Coventry, UK
Getting exposed to the outdoors
Going against family expectations
Living up in the highlands of Scotlands
Having to have difficult conversations with her family
Entering the outdoors in the 70s and what is was like being a female
The struggle of being taken seriously
Leaving America and headed back to the UK
What Backbone is about
Why the name Backbone
Why change is happening so slowly
Competitive Research Syndrome
The excuses for inactivity
Changing Landscapes - Actioning Change
Being fed up of talking
Handling frustration and what can be done to make change happen faster
Why the sector is a service industry
Why organisations need to change
Why groups need funding and money
What does adventure mean to Pammy
Helping to break barriers down
Wanting to inform on policy
What training is offered
The unethical behaviours
Dealing with the mental and emotional toll
Going on the big challenges and expeditions
The power of spending time in the mountains
Getting into skiing
Advice for women who want to spend more time in the outdoors
Why aren’t you doing it?
The pleasure of building up your skills
Go and learn how to read a map
Connect with Pammy on the socials (See below)
Final words of advice
Why - Life is too short to wear tight shoes
Listen to your internal soul
Why you need to be doing it.
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