We are based in a unique location in East London, the River Lea in Hackney. Leaside delivers inspiring and engaging outdoor activities to young people.

We offer choices to young people: encouraging them to stay in education, develop their confidence, leadership skills and ambition.

Operating within an educational framework, activities include canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, mountain biking, nordic walking, offsite trips orienteering and expeditions.

12,000 young people use Leaside each year

39 schools and youth groups in the local area

4 of these schools are for children with Special Needs

Young people whilst having fun at Leaside, leave with transferable skills that will improve their life chances. Many of our young people have become teachers, coaches and even Olympians.
Our activities see us engage with families, adults and local community groups in a recreational manner. We strive to encourages the building of lifelong friendships, confidence-building and opportunities to become an active volunteer gain professional qualifications to enhance the community spirit of what we aim to deliver.


Terry Kinsella
Terry KinsellaCEO
Terry has over 30 years professional experience, holding positions from coach to Centre Manager at most of the watersport clubs and centers within London. A well-known contributor to the London watersports scene. He was appointed in 2014 as CEO of Leaside
• His passion and dedication for outdoors sports encourages the young and adults to actively participate. An avid supporter of providing activities which help promote a range of skills from leadership to team-building to boosting self-confidence with an educational motivation: the rare combination of being a fully qualified youth and community worker plus his outdoor qualifications is key to this success • Terry firmly believes that activities should be accessible to all by enhancing and developing individuals and groups with a variety of complex needs associated with living within an inner city • Thoroughly enjoying outdoor pursuits, he is keen to hone his surfing skills both along the UK coasts and abroad.
Derek Stride
Derek StrideChairman
Derek is a keen outdoor person, canoeist, climber, walker and birdwatcher • He is enthusiastic about sharing these interests, and over his career in education, and as a canoe instructor, has helped introduce and support hundreds young (and older) people in developing their awareness of the outdoors • Since joining Leaside as a member in the 1990s, he has been a volunteer instructor and organised excursions. As a trustee and Chair of the Trust, he is committed to ensuring Leaside continues to develop and engage with the local community.
Derek has other interests in his local community, and plays the bass guitar
• Retired Assistant Head Teacher. Chair of The Phoenix Autism Trust, The Phoenix School Autism Charitable Trust, The Mary Baker Trust, and trustee of the Christ Church Foundation.
Paul Watkins
Paul WatkinsTrust Secretary
Paul lives in Hackney and has been with a Director and Trust Secretary since 2006 • His interest in kayaking came from his time in France where he navigated French rivers and coastlines with a Nautiraid 500 foldable kayak. He spent some time on the water with Leaside’s adult group before the arrival of h
is 2 girls, and now takes them on Leaside’s family Sundays. He is hoping to learn SUP paddling • He loves Hackney and is fully behind efforts to improve the waterways and the local environment • He is a lawyer who has worked for stock exchanges in London and Paris.
Sharon Freeman
Sharon FreemanTrustee
Sharon previously held position as School Governor at Mandeville Primary School, Hackney working with the Learning Trust and local counsellors for several years in early 2000. She is passionate about helping others, in particular transferring her business and programme management skills. She has contributed considerably in bringing a business perspective to Leaside • She is enthusiastic in creating awareness of Leaside through various community and city events……..we are still trying to get her in a canoe! • Sharon is a bit of a geek at heart with a fascination for artificial intelligence and machine learning as well as learning about microbiomes • Sharon is the CEO of Antevorta Consultants, a business and regulatory change practice in the financial industry.
Steve Miles
Steve MilesTrustee
Steven joined the board earlier this year, April 2020, as part of the Leaside’s relationship with the East London Business Alliance. As a dual qualified CA and CTA, he brings a perspective combining the strategic and financial experience he has built up over the course of his career • A keen cyclist, he grew up on the edge of the Lea Valley park and is delighted to have the opportunity to maintain and grow access to the park for the local community, via the outdoor activities and experiences that Leaside offers.
• He is an enthusiastic amateur in many outdoor pursuits but is especially fond of Stand-Up Paddleboarding on a warm sunny day – even more so if there’s an ice cream waiting at the end! • Steve is a Senior Manager within the Group Strategy function at Bupa, a multinational health insurer and healthcare provider.
Dominic Burnett
Dominic BurnettTrustee
Dominic is passionate about the outdoors and the mental and physical benefits of nature. He helped found the first Gig rowing club in London, has raised money for charities in the past by rowing across the English Channel and the Great Glen and has competed at the World Pilot Gig Championships • He lives in nearby Redbridge and is a big fan of the river Lea and the surrounding area. Relatively new to the board Dominic is looking forward to introducing more people to the benefits of being on and around the water • He joined the Trust earlier this year, April 2020 • Dominic is a Director of Operations at UBS.