Jennifer Joy-Matthews – Facilitator

Jennifer Joy-Matthews - Aspire Adventure Activities
Jenny is a facilitator for our team building events

Jennifer Joy-Matthews has a doctorate in lifelong learning. She focused on what helps or hinders people from learning. Two key results were that having fun was key to learning and that a “significant other” had a profound effect on learning: for good or bad! Jenny has worked in the outdoors running management development programmes for universities and organisations for over 20 years. This is where Jenny and David met, she says she married him because he got her to go caving and enjoy it!

Jenny is most likely to answer the phone and deal with initial enquiries. She might also visit prospective clients to discuss their needs. Occasionally, she helps out on activities and might be the person serving the buffet lunches, which Aspire Adventure Activities have become famous!


She has worked as the national training manager for the largest accommodation chain in the world. Working both in the UK, Central and South America and the Pacific Rim. Jenny worked as part of a multinational team with no common language! Jenny says this really helped to hone her communication skills.

Whilst working as a university lecturer Jenny devised MBA programmes that used the outdoors to engage managers in the learning process. This was perceived as very powerful because the activities were real and, consequently, the learning and feedback were real too. She has a postgraduate certificate in outdoor education and brings extensive knowledge and facilitation skills to all her work.

Voluntary Work

She has recently been investigating the use of the outdoors for urban regeneration incorporating issues of community learning, raising the health of the sedentary population and increasing the self-esteem and career prospects of participants.

Jenny is now involved with a local project, in the Peak District, to enable people to improve their health through growing and eating locally grown produce. You can find out more about this at Peak Organics

Jenny also volunteers for Challenge Cancer Through Adventure which was set up by 7 local outdoor pursuits instructors who all had cancer. The concept was designed to give adults with or recovering from cancer, or other life limiting conditions, the opportunity to take on a challenge. Jenny is affectionately known as “the tea lady”


Jenny has co-authored Human Resource Development, first published by Kogan Page (2004) with David Megginson and Mark Surtees, now in its 3rd edition. She has also published work on team development.


Jenny is a keen knitter, patch-worker and quilter.

Jenny has retired from work on several occasions but something interesting always seems to come up and she is hooked back into working with people.