The 2017 Next Challenge Grant is open for applications and donations
The Next Challenge Grant is a bursary for small expeditions and adventures.
The money comes from me (Tim Moss), small crowdfunded donations and contributions from other adventurers.
What You Get
- Money: A share of up to £2,000 (typically £100-£200)
- Help: from me, if you want it
- Plus: special pots of money available for cycling, environmentally sustainability, France and filming your adventure
Anyone can apply.
However, I’m particularly interested in people who haven’t done much of this sort of thing before.
Your trip should be:
- Independently organised: you need to plan the expedition yourself, not pay someone else to or join an organised tour.
- Original: it doesn’t need to involve a pogo stick (please) but it should be something interesting.
- Not big budget: this is a small grant. Awards have been ranged from between £60 and £800 but are typically £100-200.
- Usually involve physical exertion: walking, cycling, climbing, swimming, running etc.
- Usually involve camping: there are good exceptions (e.g. short trips) but most will involve sleeping outside at some point.
- Starting by March 2018: if it’ll be after that, apply next year.
If you want to apply then I’d strongly recommend reading my advice for applicants.
How it works
There are two stages:
1. Initial Application
A very short Google Form with the basic outline of who you are and what your idea is. Deadline Friday 7th April.
2. Shortlist & Detailed Application
A shortlist will be invited to complete a full application form with more details about their plans.
The grant was set up by me, Tim Moss, in 2015. I received many expedition grants when I was younger and they helped me undertake some fantastic adventures which have shaped the person I am today. I am now in a position where I can give something back.
After I launched the grant, lots of other people came forward to offer their support too, including 100 members of the public making small donations of £2 or £3.
The 2016 expedition grant was made possible by the following adventurers and organisations. Plus £3 donations from members of the public. I hope to have a similar group of backers in 2017.
Travel and adventure has played a huge role in my life, a teacher of countless life lessons that I couldn’t have learned any other way. I’m proud to be part of a grant-giving project to give others that same opportunity.
Getting to the start of any adventure is the hardest part – actually committing to take on your big idea and then raise the support. This grant is unlikely to cover all the costs, but I hope is a catalyst to get you going. And you can also pick each of our brains for advice – but beware, we are a motley crew with some odd ideas of what defines good fun!”
I grew up in Tasmania, where adventure is just what you do on the weekends. I’d love everyone to have that same opportunity. So I urge you all, regardless of whether you are awarded a grant or not, to make adventure just what you do on the weekends. Instead of ‘wild’ swimming or camping, make it just swimming or camping. Instead of going on an ‘expedition’ just head off on a trip for a bit. Make adventure your everyday. “
“The best adventure is the one that you take. Whether they are big or small adventures are the perfect antidote to the pressures of modern life. I was lucky enough to discover adventure through Scouts and my sport of kayaking and canoeing. I hope this grant and support proves to be the first step for lots of people to step out of their comfort zone and be inspired to head into the great outdoors.”
Richard is offering free tuition for any paddling expeditions through his Adventure School.
I have loved reading about all the fantastic adventures last year’s grant enabled. The wide variety of expeditions embarked upon was truly inspiring and has certainly given me ideas for future trips. Only by getting people out and about discovering our planet will we inspire people to care enough to look after it for the future. Going on adventures and having fun outdoors should be available to everyone. I am delighted to support a scheme which helps make this a possibility.”
As a middle sibling, with two brothers you’d likely have found a younger me on a football pitch, ragging a battered BMX through the forest, climbing trees or face-planting into the nearest muddy puddle. Adventures as a kid are simple and daily occurrences, and adult life should be no different. I’m stoked to be supporting a grant which will help some big kids find their way back to the freedom and simplicity of an adventurous life.”
20 years ago I was given my first ‘proper adventure’ sponsorship of £100 by a lovely guy called Richard Armetis. He told me it would “change my life”. I wasn’t sure I wanted my life changed, but it did, completely. It’s probably time to pay that favour back.”
A relatively small amount of money can go a very long way on an adventure (most of my trips have cost well under £1000 for weeks or months of travel.) I’m proud to be supporting this grant in the hope that by breaking down a financial barrier, this initiative will help someone make a fantastic journey out there in the wilds of the world.
I grew up riding my bike for a sense of freedom and independence. As a kid, I’d jump on my bike and ride the 17 or 18km to my grandma’s just to get away. An adventure doesn’t have to take you across the world – just to a different space. I love how this grant is making it possible for others to find their own space.”
Lyn is donating her €150 (~£120) towards doing something cool in France.
Cycle Touring Festival
The Cycle Touring Festival is a not-for-profit event oragnised by my wife, Laura, who is donating £200 towards the best bike-based adventure ideas.
I received a lot of grants when I was younger and am now in a position to return the favour. That’s why I’m donating all the money that my website’s made in advertising to help someone else have adventure.”
As well as the adventurers and organisations above, the grant is part funded by £3 donations from members of the public. Would you like to be part of it?
Winners of The Next Challenge Grant in 2016 were:
- Nick Stanton – Cycling the Berlin Wall (£65)
- Jade Tseng – Pedalling the coast of Belle Ile on a tandem (£90)
- Ed March-Shawcross – Scottish triathlon in miniature (£100)
- Kerry-Anne Mairs – 5 nights in 5 bothies with a 5 year old (£100)
- Kate Symonds-Joy – cycling to the northernmost lighthouse in the UK to perform an opera (£200)
- Chase Lewine – Death Valley to Mount Whitney (£200)
- Karl Booth – Mountain biking to the top of Europe (£150)
- Roger Rayner – Building bamboo bikes with school kids and cycling coast-to-coast (£100)
- Thomas Hart – Walking barefoot across South Africa (£200)
- Charlie & Sam King – Two brothers cycling across Europe (£200)
- Graham Clarke – Paddling the River Shannon on a home-made raft (£100)
- Jenny Tough – Running across Kyrgyzstan (£100)
- Dylan Haskin – Cycling around Costa Rica on a beach cruiser (£150)
- Bex Band – The London Loop on a Scooter (£100)
- Amanda McDonnell – Running across the Channel Islands (£100)
- Heather Jones – Hike, bike and swim the Welsh Three Peaks (Kibo bike)
- Nate Freeman – Walking 50 miles to work (Keen boots)
The Next Challenge Grant first ran in 2015. The winners were:
- Elise Downing – Running the Coast of Great Britain (£800)
- George & Jaxson – Crossing Stradbroke Island – £70
- Richard Fairbrother – Great Wall Winter Walk – £125
- Mikey Bartley – Five Ascents of Alp d’Huez on a Fixed Gear Bike – £100
- Ben Smith & Judith Pope – Pakrafting the Caledonian Canal – £100
- Katie Tunn – A Month on an Uninhabited Island – £100
- Robison Ellin – 48 Hour Cycle to/from Anne Frank Museum – £100
- Abbie Barns – Walking all the National Trails – £200
- Sebastian Schweizer – Swimming the Gulf of Orosei – Kit only
- Carmen Braun – 100 Nights’ Camping in a Calendar Year – Kit only
If you’re finished here, you might like some of the following: