Raleigh gets funding boost from v

Government-funded volunteering charity v is to donate £288,000 to a project to allow young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to volunteer abroad.

Challenge: A Raleigh trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua
Challenge: A Raleigh trip to Costa Rica and Nicaragua

Gap year charity Raleigh will organise the trips with the aid of youth support charities Rainer and Fairbridge, who have identified and referred willing candidates. Insurance company Aviva has donated another £288,000 to set up a Raleigh base in India.

The first round of funding will pay for 60 students to go on a three-week trip to India at a cost of £2,667 each. Thirty students have already been selected: 20 from an east London state school and 10 referred by Rainer. The second group of 30 is due to go next year.

The programme is part of Raleigh's effort to shake off its image as an organisation for the privileged. Fees for a 10-week trip to work on social or environmental projects and go on an expedition are typically £2,995, excluding flights.

Stacey Adams, chief executive of Raleigh, said young people on the v trip would be asked to raise about £300. "We want them to show some effort," she said.

The remainder of the v funding will pay for people returning from overseas projects to set up their own Raleigh societies to spread the word and encourage people to volunteer in England. Adams said: "Most of our recruitment is done by word of mouth, and through the scouts and the cadets."

Terry Ryall, chief executive of v, said: "We want to support Raleigh's volunteering experiences to make them more accessible to young people from areas of high social deprivation by offering opportunities to 60 students from schools in targeted areas."

She said v also funded other overseas volunteering charities, including VSO and Go Global.

Raleigh, which until now has been known as Raleigh International, has recently launched a new website as part of its rebranding exercise. Adams said the organisation had suffered because of an expansion in the gap year market and was now "on the rebuild" in time for its 25th anniversary.

KEY POINTS

- Youth volunteering charity v is to provide £288,000 to help disadvantaged students to volunteer abroad

- Another £288,000 has been donated by Aviva

- The first round of funding will pay for 60 students to go on a trip to India

- Students must raise £300 each for the trip.

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