Get to know Dan

This week we meet Dan Newton

Service Development Officer at Essex Outdoors

Tell us a little about yourself

I’m Dan and I am ‘Service Development Officer’ for Essex Outdoors, usually based at our central HQ in Danbury. I’ve been with the organisation for just over 10 years.

So what do you do for EO?

My role is quite varied and interesting (at least I think it is!) – it mainly involves identifying, setting up and managing the various IT systems and processes that keep our business running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. I could be building websites, maintaining our booking system, deploying and testing new software features, fixing PC’s or creating content for social media. Basically, anything vaguely ‘technical’.
I started out with EO as an outdoor instructor, and I quickly made myself useful in improving back office systems. These days I only really get to watch other people having fun in the outdoors from my office window, but I do occasionally need to dust of my instructor skills to pitch-in for the busiest days of our season.

What do you enjoy about your Job?

I love the variation and the challenges that my job brings; what I do is all about problem solving and troubleshooting, and I really enjoy working across our 4 centres with a variety of colleagues and customers – not all us ‘IT crowd’ like to hide in cupboards like Moss!

What do you enjoy about the outdoors?

I’ve spent most of my life getting outdoors as often as possible and love the grounding and connection to nature that it brings; whether that’s surfing, snowboarding, camping or simply exploring wild places. I enjoy the fact that what we do at EO fosters this enjoyment of the outdoors in new generations of young people.

How has life changed recently?

As adoptive daddy to a very lively 3-year-old boy, lockdown has certainly presented its challenges! We’re fortunate to have plenty of parks and open spaces nearby which has really helped – that and daily back garden trampoline sessions to burn off any excess energy.

Fortunately, my job can mostly be done remotely and hasn’t really changed too much; I’ve been busy supporting colleagues with the challenges of working from home, as well as using the time to do some essential maintenance and upgrades to our systems.

When you’re not at work, what are you most likely to be doing?

I enjoy making things, DIY and am currently (slowly) renovating our somewhat dilapidated 1930’s house from top to bottom. We’ve also rediscovered our love for growing things during lockdown and are dutifully tending a crop of cucumbers, tomatoes, lettuces and various other things, which we’re looking forward to harvesting – if the birds don’t eat it all first!

smiling man with brown hair and blue rim glasses