The Next Challenge Grant first ran in 2015.
There were around 1,500 applicants of whom 50 made the shortlist and 10 won prizes.
Starting next month, Elise Downing will spend 10 months running 5,000 miles around the UK coastline. She’ll be encouraging young people to get outside and raising money for mental health.
I thought this was a big, bold, headline grabbing idea. She’s never done anything like it before but she has done her research, planned well and sounds absolutely determined. She has good motivations and aims bigger than just her own trip.
A well deserved winner. I’m really looking forward to following her trip over the coming year.
(in no particular order)
1. Crossing Stradbroke Island – £70 (full amount)
14 year olds George and Jaxson are planning a world first crossing of a desert island with George’s dad as kayak support… for £70. Superb!
2. Great Wall Winter Walk – £125 (full amount)
Richard Fairbrother will spend 5 days solo hiking a remote stretch of unrestored Great Wall, complete with food and water caches. It has never been walked unsupported in winter.
3. Five Ascents of Alp d’Huez on a Fixed Gear Bike – £100
Michael Bartley’s knees will be cycling to the height of Everest by tackling the Tour De France alpine climb of Alp d’Huez… five times… on a bike with no gears.
4. Pakrafting the Caledonian Canal – £100
Ben Smith and Judith Pope will be crossing Scotland in inflatable boats in a week off work.
5. A Month on an Uninhabited Island – £100 + kit from Lyon Equipment
Katie Tunn will attempt to spend 30 days alone on a remote, uninhabited Hebridean island with no electricity or human contact. POSTPONED.
6. 48 Hour Cycle to/from Anne Frank Museum – £100
Teacher Robinson Ellin is cycling to Holland and back in a single weekend to make his son proud and open his students’ eyes.
7. Walking all the National Trails – £200
Teenager Abbie Barns will be trying to finish walking all 15 National Trails before she starts university next year.
We are also hoping to be able to support the following expeditions with kit.
Swimming the Gulf of Orosei
A fantastically unique, unsupported 7-day swim along the coast of Sardinia by Sebastian Schweizer. He’ll be carrying all his own supplies and needs an expensive de-salinator to make drinking water. I’m hoping to help him with this.
100 Nights’ Camping in a Calendar Year
Students Carmen Braun and Alex Tamo are aiming to spend 100 nights under canvas over the course of a year. They needed new boots and KEEN have kindly supported them.
The grant was originally set up by me, Tim Moss. 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…
The 2015 expedition grant was made possible by six adventurers and 100 members of the public.
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. “
I could harp on and on about how useless adventure is unless the experience and lessons and motivation trickles down to other people. But instead I just like this idea a lot, so here’s some cash. And I’d like to help the grant-winner(s) however I can, because money is just a little bit of all this stuff.
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 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.”
“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.”
In addition to the six adventurers, 100 members of the public each donated £2 or more of their own money to help make other people’s adventures possible.
© 2015 - Tim Moss - The Next Challenge