About Us

Who are Venture Out?

We are a small Outdoor Activities Centre on the grounds of Burnage Rugby Club, which is on the banks of the Mersey in Heaton Mersey. The Rugby Club allow us to use their building and grounds. This also allows us to use the river, the woodland and meadows, pond and surrounding trails. We started by offering Mersey River trips to groups and individuals and running a kids holiday club. In the past three years we have developed into a small company that provides Outdoor sports and Environmental activities year round to schools, colleges, youth groups, families and individuals. We are not limited to our site and run courses and trips at many venues around Manchester / The Peak District / Wales / The Lake District.

The company is run by two teachers who also have a wide range of outdoor sport qualifications and over 20 years of experience of working with people young and old. We see our mission as helping the people of Manchester enjoy the Great outdoors on their backdoor. There are many great places in and around Manchester where we can go kayak, walk, mountain bike or climb.

Are we safe? Are we good?

WE are a limited Company, Venture Outdoors Ltd, 10042656 and are a member of the Institute for Outdoor Learning. We hold British Canoeing’s Quality Mark and we hold a licence with the Adventurous Activities Licencing Authority (Reg no: L11326/R1942). Licence details can be confirmed by telephoning the Health & Safety Executive or visiting their website. This licence requires us to be inspected, have Public Liability Insurance, have Risk assessments, operating policies and procedures. It also requires that we use only qualified staff who hold recent CRB checks and First Aid certificates. Copies of these documents are available at the bottom of this page. If you require any further documentation please contact us.


Ian Sheldrdake (Advertising & Marketing Director, Go Canoeing & Parties Manager)

Ian Sheldrdake (Advertising & Marketing Director, Go Canoeing & Parties Manager)

Ian is a qualified primary school teacher with a previous background in residential child care. He set up “Messing about on the Mersey” at Burnage Rugby Club in 2009 to introduce people to their first experience of a river paddle, business thrived and now has become Venture-Out. He works part time for an Autistic School in Manchester.

Ian juggles family life with an active involvement in a local Baptist Church and likes nothing more than seeing the enjoyment on people’s faces after their first taster on the River Mersey.

  • PGCE Primary Education
  • UKCC Level 2 Coach with Moderate Water Endorsement (canoe)
  • Level 1 Mountain Bike Instructor
  • GB Archery Leader.

Kevin Beattie (Technical Director & Programmes Manager)

Kevin Beattie (Technical Director & Programmes Manager)

Kevin has worked as a Biology teacher, Company Training Officer, Environmental Education officer and Youth Worker. He has been working and playing in the outdoors for over 24 years and became a partner in Venture Out at the start of 2014. He provides technical advice for a number of local organisations. His increasing list of leadership and coaching qualifications include:

  • PGCE Biology & Adv Dip Education & Adv Dip Education Management
  • Diploma in Human Resource management
  • BCU Level 4 white water kayak coach & UKCC Level 3 white water kayak coach / Moderate Water Endorsement (Canoe) / 5 Star Canoe
  • Course provider for White Water Safety & Rescue, Foundation Safety & Rescue, 4 Star White Water Leadership Award. Foundation Modules.
  • Mountain Leader Award / Single Pitch Award
  • Mountain Bike Leader Level 2 (MIAS and British Cycling) / Level 2 Mtb Cycle coach certificate (British Cycling)
  • Duke of Edinburgh: Gold Assessor & Approved Activities Provider Manager