BIGFOOT SERVICES LIMITED was established in 2003 to offer mountain skills and first aid training for the outdoors, all of which are ISO9001:2008 registered and assessed, by Alan Ward – International Mountain Leader. Other services include bespoke treks and expeditions to a wide variety of interesting and challenging locations across the globe.
WANDERLUST 2006 & 2012 Top Guide Awards – one of ten worldwide finalists (Alan Ward – IML).
BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION 2014 “Heart Hero” award for CPR training in Wales
OTHER SKILLS NEBOSH + IEMA qualified IOSH and IEMA training courses available.
LINKEDIN/ALAN WARD – TESTIMONIALS
“I have had 3 training courses with Alan – NNAS Bronze, REC HSE First Aid at Work, and BHF Heartstart – and all have been excellent. Alan’s extensive experience and knowledge is put to good effect in the training courses, and he combines a good mix of practical, hands-on training with videos and written materials. He delivers his courses brilliantly, making them interesting and fun, as well as informative. I feel very confident in the skills I have learnt, and I would recommend anyone considering such a training course to choose Alan!”
NICOLA LA GRUE
3rd May 2017
I have always been active and strong , both in work, 20yrs underground mining,as an Engineering Contractor and play as a qualified Mountain Leader. Just over two years ago I began losing my fitness and strength I also developed abdominal pains. A visit to my GP saw me down the hospital for an Ultrasound. A tumour was discovered and successfully operated upon within a week. It was through the CT scan following this treatment that it was found that I had an Ascending Aortic Aneurysm, an undetected trauma injury from an RTA 30yrs ago, which had recently got bigger. It took almost another twelve month of tests and examinations before in June 2016 I underwent a repair to my aneurysm.The support of family and friends and expertise of the NHS McMillan Cancer and Cardiac Rehabilitation Teams, the specialist trained Physio's at the local leisure centre have been fundamental to my recovery, however , there is only so much which can be done within the confines of a treatment room, clinic or gymnasium. I needed to get out and regain my confidence on the hill.Whilst renewing my First Aid Certificate with Bigfoot Services, Alan Ward became aware of my medical condition and kindly offered me his support to get me 'back on the hills'. The film 'Step by Step' in Ladakh, I found most inspirational. Having taken Alan up on his kind offer, I am in the process of becoming a BHF Heartstart Trainer under his tuition. Also after some progressively longer training walks with him I last week walked up on to Pen y Fan in his company and under his watchful eye. A very gratifying time for me.All the Cancer and Cardiac Rehabilitation services that I have undergone has been fantastic, however, although walking strongly on the flat I struggled on my attempts to get back on the hill. The additional guidance and support given by Alan has helped me to regain my confidence in my body and get out on the hill.
ANDREW WILLIAMS MOUNTAIN LEADER 3rd May 2017
We work in ever more complex workplaces with ever more complex machinery, materials, processes and hazards. Knowing what to do and how to do it correctly are increasingly vital to successful outcomes when things do go wrong. A casualty's life can depend on a friend or colleague knowing what to do. As many of us spend half our waking hours in our workplace it 's likely that we will at some time be needed to help somebody in need.The REC First Aid at Work course offered by Alan is second to none and borne of a lifetime's experience in industry, work and the outdoors it instills confidence and knowledge to act safely and proficiently when the need arises.Andrew Williams - Mountain Leader
Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer 10th January 2017
I had the pleasure of attending one of Alan's Emergency Fist Aid at Work courses recently and was impressed by his depth of knowledge and all the equipment made available to us during the course. The course was HSE compliant and included training on the use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED). The day was very well received by all our staff and was a very useful refresher. I would recommend this course to anyone.
Lynn New was a client on the REC HSE compliant EFAW course at CIWW
Lynn New Business Development Executive at Enquin Environmental Limited 9th January 2017
Alan's course was excellent! I'm a kinaesthetic learner so loved that there was multiple materials used to train. Actually being able to see in the flesh and experience the PAC is very valuable, we were shown examples of altitude sickness via video and visual images, were given excellent reading material, shown demonstrations and head real life experiences and examples, it was just brilliant something for everyone, group work, discussions and advice and guidance.
PAMELA OGUNLANA was a client on the REC L4 EXPEDITION FIRST AID course at Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer
Pamela Ogunlana Director at Mountaineerin 7th January 2017
December 24th, 2016 - REC L4 Expedition First Aid
I attended Alan's L4 REC course and was thoroughly happy with the course. As well as refreshing the basics in first aid the course explores illness and importantly for us altitude sickness. As outdoor business owners the information regarding British Standards was also very helpful and gave us insight as to how to improve the integrity of our business. Handouts and supporting material were excellent and I loved receiving a free book on wilderness medicine.
I can totally recommend Alan and the courses he delivers and will be back in future for additional training.
SIMON OGUNLANA - MD at MOUNTAINEERIN LTD
MD at MOUNTAINEERIN LTD 24th December 2016
December 22nd, 2016 - REC L4 Expedition First Aid
As our world gets smaller and more distant and remote areas become accessible to us we need to become aware of the hazards these places present before venturing to them. We need to know how to try and prevent problems arising and what to do if,or when, problems do arise. There is no substitute for experience or the voice of experience and there can be few more experienced than Alan Ward.
Alan has a relaxed but professional style of transferring his knowledge and skills to course participants through both practical and theoretical scenarios. A thoroughly enjoyable experience.
The venue, Parkwood Outdoors Dolygaer, set in the Brecon Beacons, is an excellent learning / teaching venue and compliments and aides the courses.
Andrew Williams ML
23rd December 2016
July 23rd/24th, 2016
"I recently attended an RGS OSSM Course, delivered by Alan Ward at Cardiff International White Water Centre. First & foremost, the venue was an ideal setting for such a course with both a nice relaxed delivery room overlooking the white water course and lots of outside space for break out sessions and reflection time.
The structure and content of the course allowed us time and opportunity to share our experiences as well as reflect and understand the RGS OSSM course aims:
- To develop knowledge and understanding of off-site safety management procedures and the ability to apply this to a range of different contexts.
- To develop ability to plan, manage and evaluate off-site activities in order to ensure the safety of the participants.
- To develop skills that are relevant to the workplace and which can be adapted to meet different circumstances
- To encourage further study and promote the value of continuing professional development.
These aims were certainly achieved, delivered in a very nice friendly engaging manner by Alan."
Paul Donovan - International Mountain Leader
4th September 2016
July 23rd/24th, 2016
I have just completed the BS 8848:2014 Specification for the provision of visits, fieldwork, expeditions and adventurous activities outside the United Kingdom. Alan provided a well planned and slick delivery. The content had plenty of real life examples that were extremely thought provoking.
Kev Sidford FRGS & International Mountain Leader
31st August 2016
July 23rd, 2016
When I trained as a First Aid instructor I approached Alan to shadow his courses. Like many people in the outdoor and mountaineering community, I knew Alan to be one of the best First Aid trainers in the country. He has a detailed knowledge of everything first aid related backed up by his solid skills as a presenter and communicator. His vast experience as an expedition leader gives everything a special relevance for those working in the outdoors.
Alan works very hard to stay current in his own field and to expand his own professional knowledge.
To pass my own first aid teaching assessment I tried to meet the high standards that Alan has shown me and I think a large part of my own practice will draw upon the best practice that he's shown me.
British Association of International Mountain Leaders
1st August 2016
REC L2 First Aid:
Perfectly pitched, well delivered, entertaining, informative and highly professional
Vernon Authers Senior Instructor - ProActive Adventures 14th June 2016
REC L2 First Aid:
I have been working in the outdoor industry for 25 years and have done my fair share of these courses. Alan's course that I recently attended in the Brecon Beacons was, without a doubt the best I have been on. It was well managed, interesting to be on, good delivery of information in a number of ways and lots of fun - and with limitless chocolate biscuits. I recommend his courses and hope to work with him again.
Danny Brown Physiotherapist and Climbing Coach 13th March 2016
Many thanks to Alan from Bigfoot Services Limited for his great idea of arranging the donation of CPR manikins from the British Heart Foundation to Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, and for sorting everything out. The team used the two new manikins at training this week, when a technical exercise outside the Base was interrupted by a report of two cardiac arrests inside our vehicle bay. Team members were diverted to deal with this 'emergency', and continued CPR until virtual ambulances arrived. Both 'casualties' survived 😉 The exercise highlighted the importance of everyone knowing their CPR and the importance of regular training, so this kind donation is of huge benefit to the team. Thank you!
Kate Gilliver Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team 31st January 2016
I recently undertook an REC L3 Outdoor First Aid at Work course with Alan at Bigfoot Services Ltd.
I chose Alan based on the many glowing recommendations he had received and was not disappointed. Alan made all candidates on the course feel at ease, whether re-qualifying or brand new to first aid, as well as supplementing learning materials with many real-life experiences.
While many previous first aid courses I've undertaken over the years have been "death by PowerPoint", practical exercises and scenarios with Alan were made as realistic as possible, enhanced with the use of "Casualty Simulation (CasSim)" - basically, props and make-up to give the impression of a real injury (embedded object, amputation, severe bleed etc.). Rather than the usual "pretend there's a cut there", Alan's technique made for a much more realistic environment in which to practice and gain confidence in your first aid skills.
Having attended first aid courses from many providers for over 15 years, I have to say this was the best I have ever attended and will be booking with Alan again when it comes time for renewal
Simon Pritchard Analyst | Designer | Developer 10th December 2015
Alan recently led a hike in the Brecon Beacons that we had organised for charity, he did this completely free-of-charge in support of Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice (even refusing a gift we offered him!) and displayed a great deal of knowledge in the guidance he offered. You can read more about the walk at www.hindhead-giving.com.
I would recommend Alan to anyone who wants the assurance of an experienced Mountain Leader.
Mark Chambers Marketing co-ordinator 31st March 2015
I attended Alan's REC Level 4 Expedition First Aid course over the weekend, it was an excellent course with a good mix of both practical and theary training, paced really well allowing plenty of time to learn and comment. It was also good that Alan allowed other members of the group to bring their experiences into the training. Having done my REC Level 2 and quite a few other courses I can honestly say this has been one of the most interesting and enjoyable courses I've done, rather than just repeating the same old standard training this includes some real world solutions to some often unthought of problems that you might encounter both on expedition and in everyday life.
Thanks for a good weekend.
Mike Bennett Technical Manager at Mercury Fuel Systems 30th March 2015
I recently attended the Mountain Skills course led by Alan in the Black Mountains. I found the course to be both enjoyable and informative. Definitely all the more enjoyable to be taught by someone with Alan's people skills, patience and humour. Very much looking forward to the next stage in the series of courses.
Daniel Glyn-Jones Headhunter at DGJ Search 16th March 2015
"Extremely knowledgeable and experienced" is a phrase that comes to mind when I think about Alan. I attended a Rescue & Emergency Care, Level 4 Expedition First Aid course with Alan in February 2015. The course was a good mixture of theory and practical activity. That along with Alan's knowledge of first aid and vast experience of leading expeditions throughout the world, made attending the course very enjoyable and worthwhile. I would recommend Alan's first aid courses to any one from novices to experienced first aiders
Lee Lewis Mountain Leader, Medic 25th February 2015
I attended the REC 4 Expedition First Aid course this weekend and found the tuition first class.
Alan is very knowledgable and the course presentation is interesting and interactive when needed so sharing of experience is very helpful too.
Many thanks, Alison.
Alison Mellor Tour and Hiking Guide 1st January 2015
My team and I in Rhondda Cynon Taf completed the Mountain Training course in 2014 and it was clear to me that an appropriate first aid course was essential to complement what we learnt as part of the Mountain Skills training.
We chose to continue training with Alan Ward, our Mountain Training course provider, and all completed a REC L2 outdoor first aid course.
The combination of these two courses was exactly what I required for my countryside team which includes volunteer walk leaders, and I will continue to look for Alan as a first choice with all future mountain training needs.
John Spanswick Green Spaces Manager, Parks Development & Countryside), Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council 18th December 2014
When I was led on Kilimanjaro by Alan Ward four years ago I was very grateful for his expert medical and first aid support as Kilimanjaro is a significant challenge even for fit participants.
This is partly because of the impact of altitude. Although most ascents are planned with an awareness of the necessity to acclimatize carefully the height gain on summit day in particular is substantial. Many have commented also that the impact of altitude on trekkers climbing Kili can be higher than on similar height peaks elsewhere in the world. Certainly I found this compared to similar ascents in the Himalayas.
Another factor is that essentially this is Third World travel and although trek conditions tend to me reasonable, both hygiene and health are inevitably more compromised than in equivalent activities in more developed countries.
On the day and night before summit day I was unwell due both to a stomach ailment and the effects of altitude.
Alan was able to recommend Cipro as treatment for my stomach bugs (a broad spectrum antibiotic), which made a substantial difference to my ability to complete the summit day, the very long descent after and to finish the trip in good shape. He also treated me with Diamox, which significantly moderated the effects of altitude and allowed me to summit. Throughout the most physical part of this trip he also closely monitored my hydration and nutrition needs. When engaged in this kind of activity at altitude even experienced trekkers can neglect this, partly due to the effects of altitude on mental acuity - and this can have serious consequences.
For most participants the journey to and summiting of Kili is a very large commitment, both psychologically and financially. Not being able to summit because of easily treatable and relatively common high mountain ailments would have been very disappointing.
I would strongly recommend that any trek to summit Kili had the benefit of expert and qualified medical support, both for First Aid - which is also quite likely to be needed due to the physical risks and injuries that are possible – and for the type of ailments that I encountered.
Tim Jasper Head of Design, RAB 18th December 2014
I recently completed a 12 hour Paediatric First Aid course with Bigfoot Services Limited and really enjoyed it. The amount of practical work compared to other courses I have been on is far better and I came out of the course feeling really confident. The electronic CPR training manikins gave instant feedback in adult, child and infant CPR and the choking training manikins were equally efficient. This was my second course with Bigfoot Services Limited, having been so impressed with my first one three years ago.
Samantha Morgan Child Minder 12th September 2014
Alan provided our Heartstart Instructor training, the standard of training was excellent. Alan's style of training is highly professional and he has expert knowledge in the subject area. Alan's easy manner made the day highly enjoyable whilst ensuring delegates demonstrated the required skills and knowledge to gain their Heartstart Instructor Certificate. We look forward to working with Alan in the future on first aid and mountain skills courses.
Aled Roberts Freelance Trainer at Elbrus Solutions Training Ltd 18th July 2014
Alan is leader of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) Heartstart Programme in South Wales and recently won the Outstanding Contribution to Community Resuscitation Award at the 2014 BHF Cymru Supporters Conference.
As a vastly experienced first aid trainer, Alan became leader of our Heartstart programme in South Wales after previously working for us as a Mountain Challenges Technical Advisor and later a Heartstart volunteer. He is now responsible for delivering emergency life support training courses across Wales - including our Heartstart Schools Programme which aims to equip both teachers and young people with all the necessary skills and knowledge they need to help someone in a life threatening emergency and keep them alive until professional help arrives. Alan is a true ambassador for BHF Cymru.
Lucy Vincent Communications Officer, BRITISH HEART FOUNDATION 8th July 2014
Alan was the International Mountain Leader for a trek in Ladakh, northern India in June 2014. This was a trek with a difference. I am a walking quadriplegic and I was trekking with my friend Gregory Burns, who is paralysed in both legs through polio. We were accompanied by a film crew engaged by Johnnie Walker to produce a documentary film and photo journal. I recall my first conversation with Alan and how he instantly impressed me with his uncompromising focus on safety, balanced with his "can do" attitude to making an out of the ordinary expedition work and his experience of leading treks for people with disabilities. Over the following months Alan devoted a huge amount of energy and passion to helping me plan the trek. So, I knew before the trek started that we were in very safe hands. On the trek, I learned that we were also lucky enough to be working with a man with blends his strong professionalism with a great sense of humour, a sensitivity to the dynamics of the group and a huge heart. The trek was a great success and every member of the group will remember it for the rest of their lives. I'll always be grateful to Alan for helping me achieve a huge personal milestone and I very much look forward to working with a man who has become a friend.
Paul Fairhurst Project Manager DIAGEO 19th June 2014
I feel great while writing this recommendation. Alan Ward is one fine person and he made our Ladakh trip an equally amazing adventure. With a tinge of great sense of humor every now and then, he knows how to keep people around him motivated and excited.
Apart from being a brilliant travel guide he served well the role of an organized team leader at altitudes upto 4,300m under challenging conditions in the Indian Himalayas.
I am glad that Alan was there, for in his company, it felt safe and great. 🙂
Thank you so much for taking such good care of us and making this trek a great success.
Priyanka Kandpal Freelance Travel Writer 15th June 2014
I have used Alan on numerous occasions where the centre requires an experienced trainer and mentor for new first aid trainers. He is an excellent provider and experienced trainer.
Ben Longhurst Senior Manager, C.I.W.W. 12th May 2014
Dear Alan: Your kindness, patience, selflessness and generosity are a reflection of your good karma, which will carry you well throughout your life. You are a blessing to those who come into your way – a beautiful soul and a good friend.
Thank you Alan for being a wonderful leader and making the all trips very success.
Tulsi Gyawali Managing Director, Nepal Sanctuary Treks 11th May 2014
I have worked with Alan providing outdoor activities to young people and I have no hesitation in recommending him as a highly experienced Mountain Leader and First Aid trainer. Alan has assisted me in my own personal development as a freelance outdoor instructor through the provision of advice and coaching.
Paul Reeve Owner Sky Blue Adventures 10th May 2014
The mountain skills course that Alan led this week was excellent. The presentations were clear and to the point and the fieldwork was challenging and brilliantly planned. We all learned a lot and enjoyed ourselves at the same time!
Frank Olding Heritage Officer, Blaenau Gwent 9th May 2014
I have worked alongside Alan on a number of courses and have also been a student of Alan. Alan is a true gentleman in every sense. A great trainer who fully engages with his students at every level. Alan uses humour in his teaching to great effect. His Mountain First Aid knowledge is second to none, I learnt a lot from Alan and FULLY recommend his courses and services to all.
Mark John Training Provider 8th May 2014
I have received first aid training from Alan Ward and he has also mentored me through the process to become a REC Trainer. I have always been impressed by the standard of his courses both in terms of content, instruction and resources. If you are looking for a quality first aid course then I can certainly recommend one by Alan Award.
I have found him to be very supportive on my journey to become a First Aid Trainer and he has a great deal of patience when dealing with my questions and seeking clarifications for various things. Without his guidance the process would of been much more difficult and I really appreciate the help and support offered.
Chris Hughes International Mountain Leader 28th April 2014
Alan worked as a Team Leader for Class Adventure's base camp program in South Wales on numerous occasions. A positive and knowledgeable Mountain Leader he engaged well with the youth groups visiting the camp. He was a reliable and valuable member of the team with his wealth of background knowledge of the Brecon Beacons area and solid set of hard skills in Outdoor Education.
Nick Read Mountain Leader and Climbing Instructor 26th November 2013
Alan provides an excellent Outdoors Emergency First Aid Course, and also great advice and support on other areas he is involved in. Highly recommended.
Huw Dullea Owner: Treads and Trails 23rd September 2013
Alan is great at making sure you learn the subject in hand and are able to put it into practical use. He has a calm style which helps to make the whole experience quite enjoyable while remaining professional at all times. Recently undertook the REC 2 First Aid course with Alan and came away feeling much better equipped to deal with an emergency in most situations.
John Spanswick Green Spaces Manager at Rhondda Cynon Taf C.B.C. - Environmental Services 22nd September 2013
- Atlantic College
- Audley Travel
- Bikepark Wales
- Brecon Beacons National Park Authority
- British Heart Foundation
- Cardiff International White Water
- Cardiff Metropolitan Universary
- Charity Challenge
- Crickhowell High School
- Dolygaer OEC (Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council)
- Forestry Commission
- Glasbury House OEC (London Borough of Redbridge)
- Hafar Marine – Singapore
- Hafar Daya Konstruksi – Indonesia
- Himalayan Kingdoms
- Jagged Globe
- Marie Curie
- National Trust
- Natural Resources Wales
- Pendarren House OEC (Haringey Council)
- Plas Pencelli OEC (Wiltshire County Council)
- Raleigh International
- Ramblers Worldwide Holidays
- Rohan Designs Limited
- Rhonnda Cynon Taff Council
- Skyline Events
- Storey Arms OEC (Cardiff Council)
- Tata Llanelli
- The Mountain Company
- The Times
- Tigergeo Limited
- Trewern OEC (London Borough of Barking and Dagenham)
- University of South Wales
- Walks Worldwide
- Woodlands OEC (Oxfordshire County Council)