One of the main functions of this Trust is to make Funding Awards to young people aged 13-19 in Cambridgeshire for projects with purpose. Awards are made once a year. Traditionally, projects funded have involved travel of some kind but the Trust also considers applications from young people for projects which are ‘home-based’. You can apply to the Trust for an award on your own, with a friend or in a small group. You must, however, have planned your project yourself, and any parent/guardian involvement must be in a ‘care/protection’ role only.

The fund is limited but has in the past provided enough for hundreds of young people to get a first taste of independent travel on a modest scale and so it is important that you weigh up what you think would be a reasonable request. Successful candidates will receive an award (normally in the region of £20 to £200) towards costs. It is not anticipated that the award will cover all your costs but that it will form a proportion of these and so, if you are interested in applying to the Trust, you should also be thinking about how you will generate any shortfall in funding. Please be aware that Trustees will always prioritise applications from those who have not previously applied to the Trust, and that a condition of your accepting an award is that you will submit a report on your project by 30 September. It is very important that you meet this deadline. Failure to do so may mean that we have to ask that you return your funding award.

What the Trust does and does not fund
The Trust will not normally contribute to the cost of a whole gap year, foreign exchanges, school course-work, a simple holiday, or a project managed and planned by your school or other organisation.  Similarly, the Trust does not fund regular activity, such as attending a drama or sports club, or a project which has already taken place before your application is received.

In general, the Trust is looking to help with expeditions or enterprises planned by you. This would include the kind of thing you might use part of your school summer holiday for – end of Year 10, perhaps, or after GCSE or A level.  As mentioned above, awards may also be made for projects which do not involve time away (described by the Trust as home-based projects). You may ask for running expenses and the purchase of materials. However, please note that the Trust does not usually contribute to the cost of permanent equipment.

Timeline for Applications to the Trust
November – December Do your research and plan your project.
January Complete your application. Applications must be submitted by 31 January.
Early March Promising applicants are invited for interview in Cambridge.
April – September Your project takes place sometime within this period.
September You submit a report on your project to the Trust by 30 September.

If you are not undertaking a project on your own, get your group together as soon as you can and agree plans. No more than 5 students should apply as part of a group, unless there are exceptional circumstances, which should be explained. If you are under 18, make sure you have full approval from your parent/guardian. If you plan to travel somewhere, do some serious research about accommodation and general feasibility. For some ideas on the types of projects which are likely to receive funding, look at this page of our website:  If a parent/guardian is going to be involved in your project, you will need to assure the Trustees that you are directing the project and making all the arrangements for its completion, and that any adult involvement is confined to a ‘care and protection’ role. Please note that, although the Trust did not support overseas travel in 2022 because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we will support applications involving overseas travel in 2023.

To apply for funding you must complete the application which is available to download here.  If you are part of a group, make sure everyone in the group fills in a separate application form.  You must also make sure that every member of your group is available on the specified day in March to attend an interview (please refer to guidance notes for dates).  Make sure your application form is signed by your parent or guardian. Once you have completed your application, you can post it to the address on the form, or, alternatively, send it by email to Peter Hains, who is the current Chair of the Trust, at [email protected]. Applications must be received by 31 January in the year in which you are applying. (Please note that all submitted applications are kept on file for 18 months after which point they are securely disposed of.)

If your project idea meets the funding criteria, you will be invited to meet the Trustees in a short interview to explain your plans. You are encouraged to bring to that interview any supporting material, such as evidence of interest and initial planning. Interviews are held on a Saturday morning  in early March at Queens’ College, Cambridge (please refer to the application form for details).  If you are among those chosen for interview, the exact time and directions will be sent to you.

Interview Travel Bursaries
If getting into Cambridge for the interview may present a problem for you because of the distance you have to travel and the cost of this, then you can apply for a travel bursary to support you to get to the interview. You can find out more about this and how to apply here. If, for any reason, travel to Cambridge for the interview is impossible for you, then please contact the Trust to discuss the matter.

Applicants who can demonstrate the strength of their interest, and evidence of planning, stand the best chances of securing funding. Watch the film below to hear about the project ideas from the 2018 applicants.

Download Guidance Notes and Funding Application Form.