The safety and well being of all of our groups, including all team members, staff and local staff, is a constant priority and absolutely fundamental to ensuring a safe and happy experience for all parties involved. Our leaders give guidance and encouragement throughout the journey so that group members benefit and enjoy all that the desert has to offer.
The rigorous selection of our in-country partners combined with a long standing relationship in some destinations has developed a high level of understanding and trust, so we can be confident of excellent care and support for all of our groups from the local guides.
We are fully compliant with BS 8848, the British Standard for providers of adventurous activities abroad.
Wind Sand & Stars carefully selects mature and qualified leaders, who not only have proven experience of working with relevant client groups for each of our journeys, but also experience of the destination environment, combined with an understanding of its culture and unique history. For our school groups, as well as their experience of working with young people, a belief in the value of adventure education is essential.
Our leaders are employed for their judgement, experience and knowledge. They may also be required to have relevant qualifications in the outdoor industry, depending on the nature of the journey itinerary:
- Mountain Leader Summer (assessed) qualification
- A DBS certificate for leaders of school groups
- A current Advanced First Aid certificate
- Experience of the destination
- A background in personal development with young people for school groups
CVs of all our Expedition Leaders are available upon request.
Support and back-up
Each group will also benefit from outstanding back-up and support while they are overseas. This includes:
- 24 hour on-call back-up from the Wind Sand & Stars office (including 24-hour on-call doctor)
- Thorough and specific Risk Assessments and Emergency Response Plans with up to date information on medical facilities
- Reliable and knowledgeable ground handling partners
- Regular contact from the Leader using registered call-in times while away
- A satellite phone and mobile phone
- A comprehensive medical kit
Safety is our top priority and we carefully assess the security situation before and during each trip that we run, maintaining a highly professional, cautious and conservative approach. In each destination Wind Sand & Stars has developed extensive local knowledge and a network of reliable contacts, based on a strong relationship with our ground handler and the local communities with whom we work. We also keep in touch with the British Embassy and Consular staff in-country and take note of the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) Travel Advice.
We recognise that the FCO Travel Advice is there to guide all tourists who may not have the benefit of prior experience or local knowledge. There are occasions that our local assessments of threats to travel within some specific areas differ to that of the FCO and we would not necessarily cancel a journey based solely on the FCO advice against non-essential travel there.
As an experienced operator, we feel that Wind Sand & Stars is well placed to make an informed judgement on journeys. As well as keeping abreast of local and international news reports, we receive regular updates from our network of reliable contacts on the ground and always strive to secure objective and accurate information.
Should a local situation become a concern, Wind Sand & Stars would react as appropriate to ensure the safety of any group, working in collaboration with our ground handlers and the appropriate authorities, keeping all parties informed.