About the Trust

The family of Jonathan Conville established the Trust after he died on the Matterhorn in the winter of 1979, aged 27. He was a sound, ambitious climber who had been to school at Marlborough, spent some time in Australia, joined the Army (Parachute Regiment) and taught at the Outward Bound School, Loch Eil. He identified strongly with the outdoors where he constantly found challenge. The Trust’s aims are to encourage and assist young people to train for and pursue their love of the outdoors in the spirit of adventure, which Jonathan embraced during his life. As long as there are mountains, there will be a place for the Trust.


Sir Chris Bonington CBE

Since the Charity’s conception, by Jonathan’s father, Michael Conville, and uncle, David Conville OBE, and having the charity registered on 19th February 1986, they invited Sir Chris Bonington CBE as Patron. They were delighted when he accepted. As one of Britain’s most revered mountaineers, Sir Chris supported our work, and long-term vision to encourage and assist young people to train for and pursue their love of the outdoors, safely.


Sir Chris started rock climbing in his teens, and was commissioned in the Royal Tank Regiment in 1956. He then spent three years in North Germany, and went on as a mountaineer instructor, teaching at an Army Outward Bound School. It was during this time that he started climbing in the Alps. Sir Chris did work for Unilever as a Management Trainee, but realised that he could never combine a conventional career with his love of mountaineering. His biography of ascents is quite extraordinary, and worth reading on his website, he is also an author of twenty books, and numerous TV documentaries, and became increasingly interested in the study of leadership, starting with his own experience as a successful expedition leader, and using this to explore a wider application. He completed a very successful management training video “Leading to the Top”, and for several years has lectured to the Sloan Programme of The London Business School and Cranfield University where he is a Visiting Fellow. Photograph courtesy of Stuart Walker, Chris Bonington Picture Library. You can read more about Sir Chris on his website: bonington.com

Andy Cave

In 2007 Andy Cave became our second Patron. As a cutting edge alpinist with several formidable first ascents to his credit, we were delighted when he accepted to be our second Patron, and supporter of our Charity’s work. As one of Britain’s leading mountaineers, he also teaches, has a Phd in socio-linguistics and is an IFMGA International Mountain and Ski Guide. Andy has also written two books Thin White Line and Learning to Breathe.


He devotes his time to motivational work with young people, helping them to achieve their full potential in their lives, so his work here in the Trust is an extension of that.

Andy said ” the Trust is something that I have valued and admired for years. Such service to young relatively inexperienced mountaineers is truly a great thing and I am sure Chris feels exactly the same way. The fact that it has been going for such a long time is brilliant, and a testimony to a lot of hard work and good organisation I am sure”. With a very hectic schedule Andy has managed to find time to accompany guides and participants in 2008 and 2009 Alpine courses in Argentierre. Photograph courtesy of Paul Diffley/HotAches. You can read more about Andy on his web site: andycave.co.uk .


Katrina Taee

I am Jonathan’s younger sister. I currently work as an End of Life Doula in various capacities. Our uncle, David Conville (now sadly deceased) started the Trust in 1980, along with the support of my parents who were very keen that the Conville family were represented on the Board, so I was ‘bought into the fold’ to start attending meetings. Later on I became more involved…


and eventually took over as the Chair in 2003.

We, Jonathan’s family, are so lucky with our Trustees, they give of their time voluntarily/without compensation, and we are united in our purpose and focus as a group. We continue to flourish and we look into the future with the health and heart of our charity always at the epicentre of what we do.

Melissa Conville

I am Jonathan’s youngest sister. I enjoy fly fishing and trekking abroad and was encouraged by board members to participate alongside students in both the Scottish and Alpine courses to experience first hand what we offer. My only ascent has been with Andrew Don (fellow Trustee), guides and students on Aiguille du Tour. It was a wonderful experience.


My children have all climbed both rock and alpine routes. As my father grew elderly he mentored me in becoming a Trustee with all the responsibilites that entails. I am the Treasurer, do fundraising with Katrina, and manage the website with much needed guidance from past particpant Phil Ewels.

Chris Dodd

I am now retired, and was Relationship Manager with Sport England, the national development agency for sport, in the North West. Between 1981 – 1988, before that I was Training Officer with the British Mountaineering Council. Not surprisingly, I am a keen mountaineer. I have completed all the Munros, and am making an impression on the Corbetts.


I have also climbed half the 4,000ers in the Alps. I love music, and enjoy playing the cello in my spare time.

Andrew Don

I was a close friend of Jonathan from our teenage years until his death in 1979. We were the same age (born in December 1952) and served together in the Parachute Regiment. I was extremely fond of Jonathan’s parents, Anne and Michael who both did so much to promote and support this charity. I am one of the original Trustees. For the last 30 years I have been a Solicitor…


specialising in Family and Divorce work and in addition I sit as a Deputy District Judge in the County Court (Civil). I have been married for 25 years and have four sons. I live in Hampshire. In my spare time I help my wife to run her Smallholding and her flock of sheep. I enjoy being in the mountains and outdoor pursuits generally. In January 2011 I joined one of the Conville Scottish Winter Weekends and in recent years have taken part in the Alpine Courses completing an ascent of Aiguille du Tour – part of the Mont Blanc range.

David Draper

I retired some 5 years ago as estate manager at a holiday park in the Lake District where I have worked for the last 20 years. Before that I was employed for 25 years in outdoor education, specialising in teaching climbing and caving. I was on the 1966 Munjan expedition to the Hindu Kush in North Eastern Afghanistan and was also a member of the 1971…


Anglo Welsh expedition to Western Nepal. I was chairman of Derbyshire Cave Rescue Organisation for 6 years in the late 70’s/80’s. I was involved with the Trust from its inception and served on the selection committee for many years before becoming a Trustee.

Ben Jarman

I was introduced to the JCMT through Jonathan’s niece and became a trustee of the charity in 2014. I have a background in expedition planning, and communications and fundraising: my expeditions include the 2009 Everest Test, the highest official game of cricket at Gorak Shep (5,164m), and 2010 Mongol Rally…


from Goodwood to Ulan Bator, Mongolia. I am currently a sustainability consultant, having previously worked as a project manager at the Royal Geographical Society. As an experienced skier, hiker and budding climber, I enjoy the mountains and am a strong advocate of outdoor sports and the preservation of these natural environments. As a trustee I assist in finance, fundraising and communications activities.

Kath Sutherland

I met Melissa and Katrina after my brother, Rupert, died in an avalanche on Ben Nevis in December 2009. He was an aspirant guide, head of outdoor activities at Marlborough College and died nearly 30 years to the day after Jonathan Conville. As a family we began raising money for the JCMT and fully support the aims and ethos of the Trust.


I did the Conville course as a student and it gave me confidence to carry on Scottish and Alpine mountaineering, which I continue to do. I feel honoured to be involved with such a worthwhile Trust. I am an Anaesthetic doctor living in Bristol. I am stretching out my training by medical expeditions (Artic, Nepal) and have spent 18 months practicing emergency medicine in South Africa. I am combining medicine with the outdoors doing a Diploma in Mountain Medicine. I love most outdoor activities but am a particularly keen fell runner and skier.

Jon Garside

I was introduced to the Trust soon after joining the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) in 2004 as Training Officer. I immediately felt a great affinity to the Trust’s aims and ethos of supporting and empowering young people to explore the mountains. The Trust’s unique offering within mountaineering…


and the longevity of its programme is something very special, and I was very happy to join as a Trustee in 2019.

Soon after joining the BMC I was involved in producing the Winter Essentials DVD, a good practice resource for climbers and mountaineers. The Trust kindly contributed to the DVD’s production costs as well as to the Alpine Essentials DVD a few year’s later, a resource even closer to the Trust’s heart. The BMC makes a modest financial contribution to the Trust each year to support its work.