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SES Raleigh Explorer Award

Raleigh International are working with the Scientific Exploration Society and the UK alumni Society to increase access to Raleigh Expeditions by providing financial support to young people in the UK.

What is the SES Raleigh Explorer Award?

The SES Raleigh Explorer Award will run for the next three years and will fund 15 young adults from less socio-economically advantaged backgrounds to join a Raleigh Expedition.   

  • 2024: 7 places
  • 2025: 4 places
  • 2026: 4 places

The funding will cover places for a 10-week Expedition and flights to Costa Rica or South Africa, including insurance and flights. Venturers will be encouraged to raise funds for items such as kit and travel to the airport.  

We are looking for young people who can clearly show that they would benefit from experiencing a life-enhancing and transformational volunteering experience with Raleigh International.  

The Award is being funded by The Scientific Exploration Society (SES), Raleigh alumni, members of the Raleigh UK Society (RUKS) and Raleigh International.

“Going in I felt anxious on what to expect as I have never traveled on my own, however, that was quickly taken away by the support and encouragement from all involved, I have never met kinder and more like-minded individuals!”

Gabrielle | Raleigh Alumni 2023

“It does not matter if you come in a 50p t-shirt or a £100 designer one, with two days they look the same.”

Martin | Raleigh Alumni

Award Criteria

  • 17-24 (must be 24 or less when on Expedition) 
  • Able to commit to a 10-week Expedition in Costa Rica or South Africa on either of the following dates: 24th June – 29th August (Cycle 2) OR 8th October – 23rd November (Cycle 3). 
  • Annual mean household income of less than £42,000.
  • Able to raise funds for own kit and vaccinations
  • Must have a valid UK passport
  • Able to commit to up to 3 orientation days between being accepted and attending Expedition (done at weekends) and commit to an online pre-departure training.
  • Need to be a citizen of any of the four UK nations, dependencies or overseas territories.
  • Reasonably fit and able to cope with a hike.
  • Willing to act as an advocate for Raleigh on return from Expedition.

In addition to these criteria, applicants must be willing to share their Raleigh story and pictures on Raleigh International social media channels and website as well as be open to speaking with the media. This will help promote the SES Raleigh Explorer Award and Raleigh Expedition.  

Award recipients will be recognised at the SES Explorer Awards ceremony on 16th October in London. If you are successful we would love you to accept it in person – or if you are on Expedition, send in a video of thanks!

Where can I join an Expedition?!

We currently offer two different countries for our Expeditions.

READ: Which Expedition is right for me?
Green map vector of Costa Rica

Costa Rica

Costa Rica in one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, home to national parks, volcanoes and stunning landscapes. Be culturally immersed in an indigenous community while on projects supporting access to education, and conquer a whopping 250km trek across beautiful rainforest and mountain areas.

Learn more about Costa Rica projects
Green map vector of South Africa

South Africa

There is nowhere better than Greater Kruger to walk in the footsteps of the world’s most spectacular wildlife. Become one with local community life and the African bush on community and environment projects, and experience South Africa’s highest mountains whilst trekking the incredible Drakensberg Mountains.

Learn more about South African projects

Application deadline

We need to receive your application on the following dates for cycle 2 and 3 to be eligible for the Award. 



Expedition dates: 24th June – 29th August 2024



Expedition dates: 8th October – 23rd November 2024

How to apply

Apply online

Fill in your online application form and tell us why you want to go on Expedition!


Online meeting

If you are eligible and your application is successful you will be invited to an online meet with the Raleigh UK Alumni Panel!


If successful, you will be invited back for a second interview and be asked to present a short presentation.


7 places are available for 2024, we will let you know if you are successful and you can start getting excited about your Expedition!

Need more information about Expedition?

Book a call

Not decided yet and need help? Arrange a call with us at a time that works for you and we’ll answer your questions.

Join an online info event

Have your questions answered, meet other volunteers and find out what Expedition is really like from an alumni.

Download a guide

Find out all about Raleigh International and Expedition in our helpful information guide.

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