Outdoor, non competitive skills training and expedition grants are available: return to Grants available page.

The following Expedition grants have been awarded:

Lucy Hodge has been awarded £300 for a solo bikepackinging trip returning from Lesbos to Bristol in June/July 2021

Isabel McLeish has been awarded £300 towards her Artist Residency placement in La Wayaka Current in the Atacama Desert in Chile.  Originally planned for October 2020 the placement has been postponed, due to Covid 19, until May 2021

Mary Nzoka was awarded 500 Euros towards her ascent of Mount Kenya in March 2020.  The expedition was postponed due to Covid 19 until August 2020.

Ruth Ferguson was awarded £300 towards her D of E Gold expedition to the Peak Districet in July 2019

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:

Alaister Lee’s film, Blood Moon, shown at the Brit Rock Film Fetival 2018

Christy Logan (Part1 and  Part 2) , Beth Maciver and Ruth Ferguson have received between £150 – £300 each towards their Duke of Edinburgh Gold award expeditions

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 following skills training grants have been awarded:

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.

Bradley Brennand has been awarded £150 towards his PADI Deep Diver award. Date to be confirmed.

Peter Nelson has been awarded £250 for his Summer Mountain Leader assessment at Glenmore Lodge.  Originally planned for summer 2020 this assessment has been postponed until July 2021 due to Covid 19.

Sarah Lund was awarded £250 towards her Summer Mountain Leader course at Glenmore Lodge in October 2020.  This course was delayed from earlier in the year due to Covid 19.

Matthew Blevins has received £145 towards his Mountain Bike Leader (level 2) course in September 2020 at Glenmore Lodge.  Originally planned for May 2020 this was postponed due to Covid 19.  He has also been awarded £55 towards a subsequent assessment.

Anna Cornelia Frederiksen was awarded £200 towards her Winter Mountain skills training at Glenmore Lodge in February 2020.  This funding was matched by Glenmore Lodge under our partnership scheme with them.

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.

Emma Atkinson has received £200 towards her Mountaineering Instructors Award at Glenmore Lodge and a further £100 towards the subsequent assessment.

 Gemma Hendry has received £250 towards her Winter Mountain Leader assessment at Glenmore Lodge

Finlay Johnston, aged 14, received £150 for winter climbing training in Lochaber

Duncan Buchanan, member of a  Scottish Mountain Rescue Team, has received £200 towards his Summer Mountain Leader course at Glenmore Lodge

Kym Scobie has received £250 towards Snowcamp Excel Programme

Catriona Webster received £100 towards her Mountain Leader Course, and has received a further £100 for the subsequent assessment.

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.

Alistair McDonald, a member of a Scottish Mountain Rescue Team, has been awarded a skills grant of £154 towards his Winter Mountain Leader course.


The Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grant

2021: The fifth VOC Neil Mackenzie Adventure Grants will be announced in March 2021.   Jointly funded by VOC (The University of British Columbia Varsity Outdoor Club) and The Neil Mackenzie Trust applications from members of VOC are invited – see more details, here.

Natalie Maslowski and Zoe Hackett plan a self propelled trip to the Isle of Skye and the Outer Hebrides, in Scotland


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