Winter Aid

Practice Planning Exercise


This practice Planning Exercise can be attempted at any time, but to gain maximum benefit it is recommended that you use it shortly before attending an AOSB Main Board, when it will serve as a useful reminder of the techniques which are taught and practised during the AOSB Briefing. It is shorter and rather simpler than those which you will experience on the Main Board and for that reason you are recommended to try to complete it within 45 minutes. Print a copy of the answer sheet provided – those who have attended the Briefing will know that at AOSB this is on A3 size paper, but 2 sheets of A4 will serve the purpose equally well. Use the sheet to write your answer on. Note that a suggested answer follows on from the script – you are strongly advised to resist all temptation to look at this until have completed your 45 minute attempt!

Winter Aid

The war in WALESIA is over and a fragile peace has been negotiated. Six years of war have left the population with bombed houses, a ruined infrastructure and a fear of continuing partisan activity. You and Neil Saunders travel to the country to join the staff of a small but efficient charity. The charity runs the Walesia Winter Aid Programme (WWAP) and aims to deliver much needed supplies and medicines to isolated northern regions, especially to medical centres and orphanages.

You arrive in the town of TARDUS on Sunday 21 November and find yourself assigned to a team led by Tim Sanderson. He tells you that there is a briefing at 1800 hours and asks you and Neil to attend. Having settled into makeshift accommodation you join the others. Tim introduces you to his team, Aldo Hunter, an engineer, Clive Robbins, and Lucy Farmer who is a nurse. They are delighted you have arrived to replace two other volunteers who were injured in a traffic accident. The introductions over, the briefing begins. The last convoy of the year will leave tomorrow at 0900 hours. Essential supplies of blankets and winter clothing will be taken in 3 trucks; medical supplies will be carried in 2 landrovers and one truck. The convoy will travel the 225 miles along route 930 to the medical centre and orphanage at REBITZ. It will stop for 30 minutes at the small village of TARZA some 150 miles away. The landrovers will be driven by Lucy and you. The weather forecast is poor, storms, freezing temperatures and the possibility of snow. The aim is to deliver the supplies to REBITZ by 1830 hours which is 30 minutes after last light.

The journey starts off well and you keep to the scheduled timings but by the time you reach TARZA at 1500 hours your landrover and 2 trucks, one of which is carrying medical supplies, need to stop at a garage for repairs. Tim decides to leave you, Neil and Aldo to do the work and then to carry on to REBITZ in the morning. Before he leaves Tim places you in charge and says he will telephone the garage later in the evening; he hopes you will not need your first-aid experience. Aldo tells you that the truck is using too much fuel and that if 4 wheel drive has to be engaged consumption will drop by half from 8 mpg. The tank holds 38 gallons. At 2020 hours Tim telephones on a bad line. He tells you that Route 930 is hazardous and weather conditions are worsening. At BRAGAH he was told that the doctor is visiting some remote villages but they hoped he would return by midday on Tuesday. The Tizdach Forest road has a reasonable surface but it is likely to be used by refugees. As a result your speed would be reduced to 15 mph; in addition the partisans are thought to be using the woods for cover. To the east there is a motorable track: although it is heavily cratered, you should be able to manage 10 mph in 4 wheel drive. The Karda Bridge was blown up by partisans last month, but has been repaired, albeit temporarily. The situation in REBITZ is horrendous, a fire has damaged the medical centre and orphanage and Lucy says that the medical supplies must arrive by 1500 hours if not before. Tim tells you not to travel at night but to leave at first light which is at 0720 hours. The route is up to you but as there is no petrol in REBITZ you must take the return journey into account.

You think about the best route to take and set off at dawn, telling the others you will make a final decision on the route when you reach the junction 20 miles north of TARZA. Nearing the junction your eyes are drawn to the side of the road. Slowing down you see a woman and 2 children, aged about 3 and 5. They are weak, emaciated and bleeding. Just before the woman passes out she begs you to save her children. You recognise the signs of hypothermia and realise you must act quickly.


Assess the problem; decide your aims, consider the alternative courses open to you and arrive at your plan giving your reasons. Allow 30 minutes for any immediate action you feel you should take.

Planning Sheets and Possible Solutions

View the full pdf below to access planning sheets and possible solutions. Contact us if you are interested in running a similar planning exercise within your company.