How the Rock UK Bursary Began…

Since 2013, the Bursary Fund has helped over 2,000 children join their friends on a Rock UK adventure.

Since 2013, the Rock UK Bursary Fund has helped over 2,000 children and young people. Richard Sewell, Frontier Centre Director, explains how the bursary began and how the demand has grown to provide outdoor adventure to over 700 children last year. 

“Back in 2009, I met teachers from Henry Hinde School to discuss their residential activity programme. During the meeting, teachers asked if we could assist children who could not afford to come. The school had little resources to help and the headteacher had approached various charitable organisations and the local council without any success.

At this time, Rock UK had no official means of helping these children. I thought it was unfair to let them miss out – twice. Firstly, when their friends went away and secondly on their return when they would all chat about their adventures. For that reason, we agreed to collect nine children and two teachers and provide (at no cost) a day of activities and a hot meal so that the children did not miss out completely.”

After the trip, Mark Wakeley (Headteacher in 2010) wrote to tell us.

I am writing to express my appreciation of the support of Rock UK in facilitating the participation, on a day visit basis, of the remaining nine members of the Year Group.  You will recall that those children were unable to participate in the Extended Educational Visit for financial reasons.  In providing transport, meals and activities free of charge you enabled those children to have an invaluable social and educational experience that otherwise would not have been possible …. your support of the financially disadvantaged pupils was very advantageous, helping to develop confidence and life skills in those pupils.”

This was the beginning; we needed to develop a bursary scheme so that no children were left behind. Following discussions with Senior Management, the Bursary Fund was launched.

Today teachers, youth group leaders and church leaders contact us for support from families that need help. It makes such a difference to their lives and the feedback from children and parents is just incredible.

Without the fund I would not be able to afford the full cost of the trip for my child. It is a great experience for him to be able to go and be with his friends while experiencing the great activities on offer. I’m a single parent so it’s hard for me to take him places that are not free or near where we live.” Parent

My boys wouldn’t have had a holiday if it hadn’t been for the time at Carroty Wood.  He came back a more confident child, he was so happy about the high ropes.” Parent

“It gave them time away from home and so gave them more confidence in looking after themselves and confidence trying new things that would not have been possible without the bursary.” Youth Group Leader

I enjoyed the abseiling the most because although I was scared at first, I overcame my fear.  It was my first time doing canoeing and I enjoyed it – I learnt a new skill.” Pupil

Since its inception, the fund has provided over 2,000 bursaries! The demand for the fund has grown year on year and we saw a 50% increase from 502 bursaries in the academic year 2017/18 compared to 758 in 2018/19.

Thanks to the generosity of numerous grants, trusts and supporters, we continue to help disadvantaged children to join their friends for adventurous fun in the great outdoors.

Watch our video and find out more about the Rock UK Bursary Fund 

To make a donation towards the Bursary Fund visit rockuk.org/make-a-donation