Find out about our story then come and be part of it.....

About Us

Who are venture out?

Venture Out is passionate about the outdoors: our mission is to introduce people of all ages and backgrounds to adventurous activities in Greater Manchester and the North West. For over 13 years we have been providing canoe trips on the River Mersey, Outdoor Activity days for schools, Holiday Clubs, Birthday Parties for old and young and welcomed local ( and not so local) Business Groups.

Much of our activities are based at our small centre in Stockport which is by the bank of the River Mersey within the grounds of Burnage Rugby Club. We do however love to introduce people to the great , nearby areas of the Peak District, Lancashire and Yorkshire hills and our vast canal network, for walking, mountain biking and canoeing.

We’ve developed a company that provides outdoor sports and environmental activities year round to schools, colleges, youth groups, families, individuals and companies.

We are lucky to have a high class and consistent group of instructors and support workers!


Getting ready to canoe


Ian Sheldrake


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. Venture-Out now is a full time job. During the winter running programmes for Special Education Schools in Stockport and then managing a large team of freelance staff from Easter to October to run the busy season. Ian has lived locally in Didsbury for 30 years and his active in Didsbury Baptist Church with family members who you might now see working alongside him.


Tim Crowther

Senior River Trip Leader

(Hire / Guided trips / Uniformed Groups / Birthday Parties ))

From bumping into Tim early on at the start of the business Tim has remained an active member of the team at weekends and evenings. He works full time locally at Ashton Sixth Form College .


Adie Molloy

Senior River Trip Leader

(Hire / Guided trips / Uniformed Groups / Schools)

Adie has a background full off canoe and kayaks! He started working with PGL on the Ardeche in France and in England has worked for the Princes Trust, Youth Zone in Manchester and also Stockport Academy. He currently works as a Firefighter for Cheshire. He's almost as happy bumbling down the river with a set of Beavers as he is in the Austrian Alps ( honest!)


Mathew Wilkinson

Senior River Trip Leader

(Hire / Guided trips / Uniformed Groups)

Mathew has worked with Venture-Out almost from its inception. As a local student, he would often be found helping out... over the years he has remained a constant support. He currently is the marketing manager for Pyranha who make kayaks and canoes! Again we are lucky to have someone happy to paddle down Himalayan classics as well as pootle down our local rivers.


Liam Thompson

Kayak Hire and Multi Activity Instructor

(Hire / Guided trips / Uniformed Groups / Schools / Birthday parties)

Starting at the age of 15 in 2010 as some casual work experience Liam has constantly remained a regular sight at Venture-Out. He is happy working weekends; ensuring all the bookings runs smoothly, working in the week on school projects and can be seen out many evenings with the youth organizations we work with. With a background in the care sector working with the elderly and vulnerable adults he is a great addition to the team.


Nick Veevers

Senior Instructor

( Schools and Holiday Club)

Nick is a real asset to Venture Out. With a long list of qualifications he is a safe pair of hands for all the activities we run ( although don't put him on a bike!!). Nick works extensively around the country with different centres although living in Bolton we are lucky that he chooses Venture-Out as one of his preferred centres and loves running our Holiday clubs and drops in for blocks of school weeks.


Ruairi Tehan

Multi-activity Instructor

(Schools, Holiday Club and Youth Organizations)

2023 will be Ruairi's 3rd season with us. He is part of the back bone of our holiday club programme and is qualified and experienced in all the activities we offer....and more to can often find him ( well if you went looking) in a hole in the ground in the Peak District. Maybe we'll send him some clients to go 'Pot Holing' with him one day!



Support Instructors / Staff

(what needs doing!!)

We have a great crew around us to support the busy calendar.

Cally - A climber through and through ( indoors and out) and also archery instructor - living on the edge of the Peaks she is happy to drive into Stockport and is looking forward to a busy year with our school groups and hopefully some holiday club weeks!

Liz - a senior river leader who occasionally drops in to run sessions - a firm favourite if only she had more availability

James - a copywriter by day and a guru on a mountain bike whenever he gets the chance to get out. A qualified Mountain Bike leader ,he is also qualified bike mechanic and services our bikes regularly.

Dave Jones - (The Welsh Dragon) - a long time friend of Venture-Out he enjoys his M56 trip to Venture-Out to support school days and sometimes on our holiday club! Archery Instructor / Bushcraft / Bouldering

John - (Panda) - local Scout leader and run his own IT company!! Likes to get out of the house and supports weekend hire work and birthday parties. Archery Instructor / Bushcraft

Dave - another Scout leader and IT guy living locally and building his qualifications and experience to slowly progress more into the work in Outdoor Pursuits - Paddlesport Instructor / Archery Instructor

Sonia - Starting to run more sessions ( youth organizations and guided trip). A high class extreme kayaker! Senior River Trip Leader

Fiona - travels often across at a weekend from North Wales to support our work. Working with challenging teenagers as her day job she enjoys the change that Venture- Out. She used to be quite a pro at slalom in her day and we look forward to seeing her more on the river this year! Paddlesport Instructor

Ellie - joined us for work experience from a local Outdoor Education college and she liked us so much she stayed. Now working as a Teaching Assistant in a local Primary school he Archery qualification will be put to great use in a busy year ahead Archery Instructor

Matthew / Jonathan / Robbie - Been involved with Venture-Out since being part of an afterschool club when in Year 5. All 3 finished A Levels in 2022 and are qualified Archery Instructors and one or other can be found supporting weekends and often of an evening with uniformed groups.

George - ( or little George as we call him!!) - Came on work experience in Year 10 and never left..Year 11 now and looking forward to busy year with us!

Rufus - Just finished GSCE's and a good Slalom Paddler with Manchester Canoe Club. Working at the weekend supporting hire sessions.

Venture Out News


Trip Advisor - Traveller's Choice Award 2023

3 years in a row we have been awarded this award. And consistently #1 in Stockport

Read More


At last! - our new website

Nearly 2 years in the making. At last we have a website that better showcases what we do and how great our services are.

Read More

If you are interested in joining our team of freelance staff then please get in touch.