A LLANGOLLEN-based outdoor activity company is expanding its operations across the whole of Wales, having been awarded a prestigious contract with the YHA.

Safe and Sound Outdoors, established in 2007, has been given the task of providing activities for youngsters at the Youth Hostel Association's sites in Wales and Chester.

The company, which has its headquarters in the former bank building on Bridge Street in Llangollen, already employs 27 people and is looking to take on up to a dozen more staff members to fulfil the expansion.

The YHA, which is nearing its 100th year in the UK, was established to promote health and recreation by giving young people the opportunity to explore the great outdoors.

According to Safe and Sound Outdoors founder Craig Forde, the YHA's ethos of giving young people a chance to enjoy the countryside, is very similar to that of his own company.

He said: "We're delighted to have been awarded this contract with the YHA, providing activities for youngsters across Wales, from canoeing in Pembrokeshire to climbing in Snowdonia.

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"The YHA was set up to encourage young people to enjoy the fantastic benefits that the countryside has to offer and that has been our aim since we started more than 15 years ago now.

"Our aim is to give youngsters the chance to experience something they've not done before in the incredible surroundings that this country has to offer.

"We often meet kids from some of the bigger cities who have never seen a mountain before and it's a real privilege to be able to take them, to Snowdonia for example, for a day of activities.

"We're really looking forward to being able to do this with the YHA all over Wales."

Safe and Sound Outdoors offer a wide range of activities including climbing, abseiling, gorge walking, canoeing and kayaking and, via sister company White Water Active, popular white water rafting experiences on the River Dee.

The company also offers first aid courses and is also a leading provider of Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.

Craig added that there will also be opportunities for budding instructors to learn and achieve their qualifications with Safe and Sound Outdoors.

He said: "We already have some of the best qualified outdoor instructors there are and, because of this contract, we will be employing several more over the coming months.

"I'm also happy to say that there will be the opportunity for new instructors to work and learn with us to gain their instructor qualifications and to continue to promote outdoor activities for future generations."

For more information on Safe and Sound Outdoors visit www.sasoutdoors.co.uk.