Group Leader Guide


Choosing an activity

The Group Leader Guide has a wealth of useful information and downloadable resources for anyone planning outdoor activities for a group.  Information here will help you plan an outdoor activity, providing information on funding, transportation, insurance and first aid. 

Choosing an activity

Northern Ireland offers a  wide variety of outdoor activities for fun days out.   Visit - the definitive guide to outdoor activities in Northern Ireland, for lots of ideas for fun activities the whole family can enjoy as well as special offers, events and competitions!

If you fancy visiting one of Northern Ireland's 24 Blue Flag beaches visit for details on all the best beaches in NI, events and useful information.

Dedicated walkers and keen cyclists should visit and for trails, routes and events across the entire province. is perfect for those interested in orienteering and the environment.  For canoeing visit

Venture Outdoors - a project which tackles the barriers to participation in the outdoors by underrepresented groups in Northern Ireland, has developed a number of toolkits to assist groups in accessing the outdoors.  A specific toolkit on planning outdoor activities  written to assist leaders and volunteers from community groups can be downloaded here  Planning Outdoor Activities Toolkit



Funding a day out for community groups

Need funding for your group day out but don't know where to look?

Securing funding can be both tricky and difficult to know who the key funders are in NI.  The websites below are really useful for uncovering potential funders.

Grant Tracker

Nicva's Grant Tracker is the only must have funding resource for the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland.  It is a dedicated funding database that covers all grant making sectors and funds available in NI.  You must be a subcriber to gain access at £100 per year for Nicva members and £145 per year for non-members.


This site provides guidance on raising funds from grant-makers, community fundraising and charitiable trading.

Write a winning funding application

So you're at the stage where you have a funder to target but what steps can you take to ensue you write a great application?  For top tips on writing a winning application, common pitfalls when writing and a list of top funders in Northern Ireland, download the free Writing Successful Applications Toolkit here.

Other ideas to raise cash

Gather the community together to raise funds through small community led events, sponsored events such as walks, cycles, sponsored silence, dance-a-thons, hold a quiz, get the rolling pin out and host a bake sale - the possibilities are endless.



Your group may require transportation on their day out.  Below are a few companies that offer transport for people with limited mobility and also large groups. 

Community Transport Northern Ireland

This company represents a wide variety of operators who provide accessible door-to-door and group travel services to community groups, older people and people with disabilities on a non-profit making basis throughout the province. 

A community transport operator can be located in most parts of the country, in both urban and rural areas.  

Group Transport

Community transport provides accessible transport solutions for community groups and associations and other charities. Transport is provided in minibuses ranging from 9 passenger to 16 passenger seats.   You can either hire a minibus with a driver or provide your own volunteer who can drive on your behalf. Please note: all drivers must be registered with your local community transport provider and have completed training such as MIDAS (Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme) before they can take a bus out.  The majority of minibuses are fully accessible. 

Only member groups can make use of the minibuses. Becoming a member is easy; contact your local community transport operator for a membership application form and terms and conditions.

Need to hire an accessible vehicle, mobility aid or wheelchair?

The CTA can help with this.  Please contact the CTA NI office for details, call (from a landline)  +44 (0) 845 650 1190 9am-5pm or visit the Community Transport site or call the Belfast office on +44 (0)28 9094 1661.


Translink is the main provider of public transport in NI including bus and rail travel.  They are committed to making sure their services accessible to all.  People with a registered disability may be entitled to a Half Fare SmartPass if you meet certain criteria.  This pass entitles holders to 50% off the standard adult single fare on scheduled bus and rail services operating within Northern Ireland.  To find out if you are eligible for a Half Fare SmartPass, visit Translink’s website



Training opportunities for community groups

Get qualified to lead groups in outdoor activities

Venture Outdoors offer a range of training throughout the year which is specifically developed for community group leaders. 

Past training has offered group leaders the chance to become qualified instructors in archery (GNAS Archery Leader Award), lead cycling sessions using specialist bicycles for people with disabilities (Wheel’s For All’) and lead walking groups for people with disabilities. 

To view the latest training on offer, visit the Venture Outdoors website or contact



Insurance and first aid

First Aid

When taking groups out, a specific member of staff must have a recognised first aid qualification.  Larger events will require the presence of a first aid area and services such as that offered by St John’s Ambulance.  The following organisations offer courses for emergency first aid or can be present to deliver first aid at your event.

Red Cross

2 Heron Road

Sydenham Business Park



T: +44 (0)28 9073 5350

Visit the Red Cross website

St John’s Ambulance

Knockbraken Healthcare Park

Saintfield Road

C. Down


T: +44 (0)28 9079 3303

Insurance & Risk Assessments

Keep yourself in check with insurance and risk assessments – two key requirements when organising an outdoor activity for a group.

Visit the Health & Safety Executive website for information, pro-formas and advice on how to complete a risk assessment

Tennyson Insurance is a Specialist Charity insurer Tennyson Insurance