What We Do

Alternate Forces is a not-for-profit outdoor activities organisation that utilises the skills of former Armed Forces personnel


We provide alternative education, outdoor activities, team building days, qualifications and tailored courses including; mountain biking, DofE, first aid, navigation, canoeing, kayaking and bushcraft to schools, youth groups and organisations, veterans and for corporate training days.


We support veterans by providing employment, training and support. Veterans often struggle with the transition to civilian life and we work in conjunction with veteran’s charities to provide a network of support. We run team building and training days which allow social networks of peers to develop. We employ former and serving military personnel in order to utilise their valuable skills and allow both local communities to benefit from their skills and experience, and veterans to gain a sense of purpose and self worth.


Alternate Forces use the educational experience and counselling qualifications of our staff, combined with our outdoor activities, to offer alternative education programmes to young people who are disengaged. We offer tailored programmes to schools, PRU’s, colleges, youth offending teams and community organisations.

Our centre is residential, and available to hire to organisations or private groups. It is situated in a prime location on the banks of Hollingworth Lake including our own jetty and enclosed harbour. It has excellent transport and motorway links, centrally situated for The Pennine Moors and the Peak District, Yorkshire, Manchester and Lancashire. The centre has a fully fitted kitchen, washing machine, lounge area, toilet and shower facilities and has two accommodation rooms comprising of six bunks per room, with available rooms for extra camp beds.


Al Shingler, who founded the company,  a Royal Marine Commando with several years experience in both education and as an outdoor education instructor.

We believe that former and serving military personnel have transferable skills that can be used to support young people, veterans and adults to achieve their full potential through various outdoor activities.


We aim to mentor, motivate and help people achieve their potential.


We are supported by The Big Lottery funding and The Community Covenant funding.

Alternate Forces CIC, Rakewood, Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough, Rochdale, OL15 0AT