Everyone should have the opportunity to have an adventure, to develop themselves, to experience new places and meet new people. As a result Challenge Wales | Wales’ Tall Ship offers bursary funding for those who may need extra financial support to jump onboard. We always want young people to raise some of their voyage fees themselves, no matter how small, but if you need some additional help then tapping into our bursary fund is a great option.

Bursary funding is created through trusts giving us funding, donations, the Challenge Wales membership scheme and our own fundraising.  Sometimes additional bursary funding is available for particular voyages.

The Challenge Wales bursary fund is currently available for both groups and individuals who are aged under 26 years on the first day of their voyage.

We are not here to provide bursary funding so that people can just have a ‘free’ voyage. One person in the Challenge Wales office works hard to find bursary funding for individuals and groups and it must be realised that when joining a voyage the participants are expected to take part in all activities onboard…..otherwise the boat won’t sail! For some this can be a challenge in itself but our volunteer crew are here to guide you.

Some applications for bursary funding are open year-round, while others there is a short window and some have a deadline (which can change depending on suitability of applicants). So, if you are interested in applying for bursary funding we always encourage you to get in touch and let us know which bursary fund you are interested in.
Please note bursaries below can be mix and matched in some cases


Challenge Wales Bursary:
If you are based in the UK  and aged 12 – 25 years then you can apply for a Challenge Wales bursary to cover up to 50% of your costs depending on availability. Anyone receiving bursary funding is required to write a voyage report after the trip to be submitted to the funder and is often part of the funding requirements.

Other bursary funds who might be able to help:

Young Carers in Wales (14 -18 year olds) – Funding is available for fully funded voyages with young carer groups in Wales through Children in Need. Agored Cymru accreditation is also available in Teamwork, which again is fully funded. This fund is open. If you are a group leader or working with Young Carers then please get in touch. Funding available in 2021.

Children in Need logo

James Myatt Trust – If you are aged 16 – 25 years, and your voyage ranges from 2 – 14 days then this Trust may be able to help you as they have done for other young trainees jumping onboard Challenge Wales. In the past the James Myatt Trust has provided funding for individuals ranging from £150 – £400. Read more about applying. **Please ensure your completed application form arrives with the James Myatt Trust at least a month before the start of your voyage**

Royal Thames Yacht Club Charitable Trust
– Can provide funding for UK residents, aged 12 – 21 years who need financial assistance to undertake a sail training voyage and are severely disadvantaged financially. The Trust are particularly interested in supporting young people who are young carers, are in care, from lone parent families and/or are suffering financial hardship.  Challenge Wales needs to write and submit the application on your behalf so please get in touch with Challenge Wales office as soon as you can to talk about this funding. They have often provided funding for individuals ranging from £150 – £300.

Sultan of Oman Bursary – If you are aged 16 – 25 years, and HAVEN’T taken part in a Tall Ships Race before then you could be eligible to apply to this funder to take part in any voyages on Challenge Wales that are 5 nights or more in 2021! The funding can provide funding of up to £450. For further details and apply here

John E Burnett Bursary – If you are aged 16 – 25 years and sailing for a minimum of 5 nights or more and are financially or physically disadvantaged then, regardless of your background, you can apply to this fund. Funding can be for up to £600. Read more for further details and to apply.

The Colin Laidlaw Sea Life Sail It Voyage – Interested young people need to reserve a berth and then apply for a place. This funding is for a specific voyage and will cover all of the voyage costs except £35. Contact Challenge Wales for further details. A place isn’t necessarily guaranteed but we will be processing applications on a weekly basis. This voyage is suitable for those wanting to do more sailing and those looking to perhaps experience sailing for the first time but have a keen sense of adventure.
Nominations currently closed and we are unsure if this will open in 2021 as it depends on the fundraising by the Laidlaw family.

Sometimes there are additional funds available to help anyone from the UK and Ireland to jump aboard.

I am based outside the UK

You might be able to get a bursary for your voyage if you are taking part in Tall Ships Races. If you live in a host port area or the country which has a host port, you might be eligible for a host port bursary which is administered by Sail Training International.

Are there any other bursaries I might be eligible for?

If you are taking part in the Tall Ships Races then you can apply for additional bursary funding. This is often on a first come first serve basis and based on need.

If you are a youth group working with disadvantaged young people, then we might have funding available to fund between 50 – 100% of your voyage costs.

If you are aged 16 – 25 years and looking for an adventure, but not part of a group then there is also bursary funding available and you will be able to join us on some of our residential adventures.

Please think if you need bursary funding before applying, if you don’t need as much bursary funding then please let us know so that we can help someone else get onboard. If you receive any bursary funding you will be required to write a voyage report within 3 weeks of your voyage end date, other conditions may apply depending on where the funding has come from.