………. and how to apply
Grants will only be awarded when there is appropriate funding available
Please note: We review grant applications on a monthly basis. Due to the current restrictions approvals may be dependent on following the guidelines in the relevent country or countries the application applies to.
If you would like to be considered for a grant, this year, please contact us with an outline of your expedition or training and we will send you an application form. Please note – to save your time and ours we do not put forms up on this site, for anyone to fill in. If you have got hold of one, and we did not send it to you it may be out of date. Contact us first, and we will send you a form if your project fits our criteria and we will be able to help and advise you!
1. Outdoor Skills Training Grants – preference will be given to residents in Scotland. Apply anytime and allow 4 weeks for a decision to be made.
Grants, to a maximum of £250, will be awarded for outdoor, non competitive skills training courses and up to £200 for a subsequent assessment. Generally we are more likely to support training in disciplines that have not already been supported. As a result of our considerable support for Mountain Leader courses over the last few years we will not be supporting these courses or assessments during 2023 (and possibly beyond) unless you can demonstrate that the application fulfils ALL the criteria, relevant to skills training, listed here. We will, however look favourably on applications for courses and disciplines we have not supported in the past. Grants will not be awarded if related to your employment nor to further your career. Applicants must be resident in Scotland and training courses should be carried out in Scotland. If you are 14 – 17 years old there are grants available up to a maximum of £200 per person. Except in exceptional circumstances, only one grant will be awarded to any one family. Grants are not available for competitions or competitive training.
We are working in partnership with Glenmore Lodge, Scotland’s national outdoor training centre, to provide skills training grants to individuals who can demonstrate particular need. Under this scheme up to £400 will be available.
If you are over 14 and interested in applying for a grant for outdoor skills training from The Neil Mackenzie Trust, please contact us with details of the training course and we will send you the appropriate application form. If you would like to apply for an enhanced grant for training at Glenmore Lodge, you will find more information here. There is no upper age limit for applications.
Preference will be given to individuals who will use their training to help or train others, for example members of mountain rescue teams or volunteers in clubs and organisations.
[If you are aged between 16 and 18 and have a passion for adventure, climbing or mountaineering, it is possible that The Martin Moran Foundation may be able to help. They provide a mountain adventure programme for young people who are facing barriers to accessing the mountains. Their application process is a little different, and first you need to be nominate by a leader, teacher, or any other adult who would like to put you forward for the programme. For more details of the nomination process visit https://www.martinmoranfoundation.co.uk/application-process.%5D
2. Expedition Grants:
There are funds available for applications by individuals, small groups or families for expedition grants. Please note that we cannot fund you if you are going with and/or raising money for another charity. If you are planning a trip, adventure or expedition and need a bit of help, contact us with your outline plans and we will let you know if we think we may be able to assist, and if so, we will send you an application form. We will consider applications on a monthy basis and anything from a Duke of Edinburgh Award expedition to a first ascent might attract a grant! Grants are not limited by age or location. The amount of grant available will depend on the adventure, and may be limited by available funds.
2a. Educational Expedition Grant:
This is a sub-category of the Expedition Grant, and is available for individuals or groups from Secondary School age upwards, preferably resident in Scotland, looking to take part in an expedition with the primary focus being education and learning. This could be in the form of research – e.g Geology or Conservation – or to learn more about the history, archaeology and/or culture of an area or country. If you are planning a trip that fits this category, we would love to hear from you!
Please contact us with your proposed educational expedition and we will forward an application form, if appropriate. The next deadline for applications will be 3rd March 2023. If, however there is a trip you need funding for taking place before summer 2023 let us know and we will send you an application form and consider your application for an Expedition Grant.
Previous Educational Expedition Grants approved include:
A university student who took part in a field trip to Madagascar, enabling him to put into practice fieldwork techniques, learning about the ecology of Madagascar and conservation of endangered species.
A group of students who embarked on an expedition to Namibia to survey the route of a boundary fence, studying the impact it had on the conservation area.
A schoolgirl and young carer was to join a school trip to Ecuador, working with local communities to help improve their quality of life in a sustainable way and support various environmental projects to safeguard the future of local wildlife. (Unfortunately due to Covid-19 the trip was unable to go ahead.)
A group of students will be carrying out a research trip to Iceland to study the effects of pollution and climate change on the sub-Arctic ecosystem and its native species.
More information on these and other recipients who have already received all our awards can be seen here.
If you are going on a course or to a conference and can visualise an adventure in the area/country you are going to – let us know! Neil always looked for adventure around the places he was going to with his work, and looked for places he could work, where he saw an adventure!
3. NEW! Health and Wellbeing Award
As a result of the current coronavirus pandemic we are delighted to offer a temporary small award to encourage less arduous outdoor activities for people (whatever age) to take part in, in order to encourage better mental health and wellbeing, as lockdown restrictions are lifted. It is well documented that being outdoors, pushing boundaries and learning new skills are all beneficial to physical and mental health. We have all had to learn to live with varying stages of lockdown over the last year and this has had an effect on our health and wellbeing. Everyone’s circumstances are different, but the fact that we have been isolated from others for much of the time has been difficult for us all. We already offer skills training and expedition grants. Both are helpful in all aspects of health and wellbeing, but as we come out of lockdown, and begin to mix again with family and friends and also other people, we, at The Neil Mackenzie Trust, are concentrating on mental health. To enhance positive mental health we are encouraged to connect with people, be active, enjoy the world and nature around us (and be out in it), keep learning and give something to others. The award is available to applicants who have experienced health problems during the pandemic and will allow them to participate in a new outdoor activity with other people. This may be to join a group, club or organisation, or, depending on the individual circumstances, may be available for one to one activity or instruction. If you think we may be able to help you please get in touch through Contact us, and we will send you more information or download the health and wellbeing grant application form
If you are considering setting up a voluntary group or organisation which you think would help to promote mental health and wellbeing in others, but require some financial help, we may be able to help. Contact us to let us know your plans.
4. The Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant
This grant is awarded in conjunction with VOC (Varsity Outdoor Club at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada). This helps members of VOC who want to pursue an outdoor adventure, in Scotland, Canada or anywhere else in the world. More information here.
5. Other Grants
If you have any other idea that you would like help with, and you think it might be suitable, let us know your plan and we will let you know if we might be able to assist.