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Go Ape Celebrates Employee Ownership Day

Formed in 2002 and employing over 800 tribe members, family favourite outdoor adventure company, Go Ape, became majority Employee Owned in 2021.

Co-founder, Rebecca Mayhew said, “Go Ape has always felt like part of our family. We knew deep down we would never be comfortable selling the business to investors."

Fellow co-founder Tristram Mayhew also said, “We wanted Go Ape's employees to own and control this great company we are all so proud of. We knew that employee ownership was the best solution for the benefit of all current and future employees and were proud to join this thriving community of forward-thinking businesses.” 

Go Ape Thetford team on adventure playground obstacle in new uniform

Since its transition to Employee Ownership, Go Ape has changed, structurally and operationally, but the core values and family feel remain the same. The 2023 theme for Employee Ownership Day is, #TheEOeffect: the positive butterfly effect Employee Owned businesses can have on their people and wider society. To celebrate Employee Ownership Day, some Go Ape co-owners have shared their thoughts on their EO journey so far.

Go Ape co-owner and Managing Director, Nick Hall, said, “Over 18 months ago we started our new adventure as an Employee-Owned company and a lot has happened in that time! 

Our Employee Council has become the eyes and ears of co-owners raising their concerns, ideas and bringing real challenge to the Management Team and Trustees.  Our two employee Trustees now make sure co-owners remain at the core of our decision making.

We have paid profit distributions to co-owners; launched our own co-owner communication platform to connect our teams more; established an environmental working group; and we are working hard to establish the Go Ape Foundation to support projects that align with our core values.

Most importantly we celebrated our first year as an Employee-Owned company with BananaFest, our own co-owner festival of music, fun, food and drink.

We are still at the start of our exciting adventure, but employee ownership has made a great company even better.”

Girl in whte t-shirt  climbing a ladder on Treetop Challenge

Go Ape Finance Assistant and co-owner, Rachel Cross, is also a member of the employee council and said, “Employee Ownership, is about bringing all areas of the business together. No one should be made to feel like they are less important than the next person: everyone is equal and has an equal stake in the business.

The future of Go Ape’s Employee Ownership sits in our co-owners hands and everything we do is for our co-owners, customers and the wider community. I still feel like our founders, are a big part of Go Ape, but they've handed the reins over to us. They’ve entrusted us with their pride and joy to move forward and grow and I feel like we need to carry their legacy forward carefully.”

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