We are particularly enthusiastic to award our skills grants to volunteers in training or rescue organisations where the effect of the grant will help others.
Magalie Castelin, who won a voucher for a skills training or expedition grant in the raffle at the Ceilidh in January 2018, has been awarded £500 towards Snow and Ice Climbing Improver’s Course – advanced level.
Finlay Johnston, aged 14, received £150 for winter climbing training in Lochaber
Kym Scobie has received £250 towards Snowcamp Excel Programme
Dominic Lloyd has been awarded £200 towards RYA Day skipper practical sailing courwhich he will use to assist in training at Dundee University and Avoch sailing clubs.
Stephanie Provan has been awarded £130 towards Level 2 mountain bike leadership award – to assist with Primary School after school activities.
Chris Redmond, chairman and volunteer coach at Aboyne Canoe Club, received £200 towards courses in Moderate water Endorsement and 5 star whitewater training.
The following Expedition grants have been awarded:
Mark Robson and Simon Richardson have received £300 towards their expedition to Oasis Peak on the Alaska/British Columbia border in May, 2019
Ethan Berman and Antony Wood have received £272 towards an Expedition to Denali, the highest mountain in Alaska.
A group of 6 students from University of the Highlands and Islands have received an Educational Expedition Grant of £1,000 towards a research project in Namibia.
Kai Westwell has been awarded £300 towards his Educational expedition to Madagascar.
Brothers Calum and Eadan Cunningham received £1500 for a climbing expedition, also to Madagascar, with Robbie Phillips: Madagascan Report – Drive Madagascan Report – Bouldering (Eadan) Madagascan Report – Big Walling (Calum), Conclusion and photos
Eadan’s bouldering video can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czii-5VKKQQ&t=113s
Alaister Lee’s film, Blood Moon, shown at the Brit Rock Film Fetival 2018
Click on the links to view their reports. We look forward to receiving the more recent reports, following their courses/expeditions, and we will publish them once we receive them.
The Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant
2020: The fourth VOC Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grants have been announced. Jointly funded by VOC (The University of British Columbia Varsity Outdoor Club) and The Neil Mackenzie Trust the names of the recipients were announced in March 2020:
Natalie Maslowski and Zoe Hackett plan a self propelled trip to the Isle of Skye and the Outer Hebrides, in Scotland and
Nick Hindley, Harlin Brandfold, Duncan Pawson and one other are planning a “Big Wall” climbing expedition to Pangea in the remote Coastal Range in British Columbia.
Due to restrictions COVID 19 many of the trips planned for 2020 may have to be postponed or cancelled.
2019: The fourth VOC Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grants have been announced. Jointly funded by VOC (The University of British Columbia Varsity Outdoor Club) and The Neil Mackenzie Trust the names of the recipients were announced in March, 2019: Anirban (JoJo) Das will be going to bolt new crags for sport climbing in Southern India, in December. Maureen Nadeau came to Scotland in May to cycle the amazing Highland Trail 550. It is 885km (mostly single hill tracks) with a total ascent of over 16,000m. We look forward to her report. Else Bosman and Joe O’Brien are staying closer to home and planning a multi dicepline self propelled adventure in the Coastal Mountains of British Columbia. Due to injury both JoJo’s and Else and Joes trips have been postponed.
2018: The third VOC Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grants have been announced. Jointly funded by VOC (The University of British Columbia Varsity Outdoor Club) and The Neil Mackenzie Trust the names of the recipients were announced in March, 2018. Ben Clark and Jess Landing came to Scotland in spring 2019 to ice climb in the Cairngorms and Ben Nevis areas. We are looking forward to meeting them all, and hearing all about their adventures.
In 2017 we had two girls teams who came over to Scotland this year. Kelsey Miller and Carly Peterson set out on a trail running, scrambling and climbing adventure in the Glencoe and Glen Nevis area and Cora Skaien and Nicole Barrette aimed to climb a number of mountains following routes originally climbed by the Ladies Scottish Climbing Club.
The following recieved the 2016 VOC awards:
Artem Bylinskii has now completed his Scottish Adventure from Canada. He visited Bell’s Bothy on Skye, attended our Ceilidh Day in Farr and climbed in the Cairngorms, Ben Nevis, Glencoe, An Teallach, Skye and cycled in Torridon. See Artem’s trip report here.
Mike Cancilla and Lizzy Duguay came to Scotland to cycle from Glasgow to the Outer Hebrides in the summer (2016). While they were in the islands they learnt something about Mike’s Scottish family roots (the MacNeils of Barra) and visited the bothy on Skye. See their trip report here.
Stuart Higgs and Spencer Rasmussen undertook their challenge in British Columbia in August. It was a combined kayak and trekking adventure. Accessing their route via the Jervis Inlet they hoped to trek on foot on a pioneering alpine traverse around the headwaters of the Skwawka River. See their report here