The Infinity Programme

Providing transformative opportunities: A mixed ability expedition over land and sea

British Exploring Society (BES) and Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) are delivering one of the most ambitious youth development programmes in the world; a multi-year expedition programme for disabled and non-disabled Young Explorers.

BES and JST combined have over 125 years’ experience in creating and delivering personal development through adventure – JST at sea, BES in deserts, mountains, jungles and the arctic. Both charities understand the value of genuine, intensive immersion in challenging experiences and are committed to the principles of high-quality voluntarism. Both organisations recognise that they have much to learn from each other and know that through collaboration each can become more sustainable and extend its impact.

In October 2018 BES and JST will be running a pilot programme based in the UK. This will support 28 young people and will be used as the model to develop the full scale programme in 2019.

The first full expedition in our proposed multi-year programme will be from Scotland to a Nordic country in 2019. The Infinity Expedition programme includes pre-training and induction in the UK, and an overseas phase running for four weeks in August 2019 and a follow up at our Next Steps event in October 2019.

During every stage of the programme the young people will develop an appreciation of teamwork and the importance of self-discipline and personal responsibility. They will improve their personal organisation, time management and communication skills, and learn to be trusted and trust others. They will gain positive interactions and a sense of fun though physical hard work and learn new skills. Crucially, participants will gain knowledge of, respect for and empathy for different social groups, and a better appreciation of the abilities and potential of others.


What's involved

  • Training and support prior to expedition. 
  • Develop outdoor and sailing skills from professional leaders.
  • Develop your confidence, communication and teamwork skills.
  • Learn about the environment through science projects.
  • Document your expedition through exciting media projects.

Expedition breakdown

Cost: £900 for Young Explorers
Mandatory Briefing Weekend: April 26th-28th 2019
Expedition Dates:  2019 - 1st to 28th August (TBC)
Location: Voyage across the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean
Age Range: 16-19
Debriefing: October 2019

Land Phase

The land based phase will work from a basecamp, with a walking expedition, and through scientific research, the Young Explorers will discover the incredible wilderness. Together they will trek across an incredible mountainous terrain, supporting each other to live in a remote outdoor environment. Teams will engage in scientific studies to help them learn about the environment, this could be investigating seagull colonies or other local fauna and flora. They will learn about geography, geology and marine life. Our young people will also learn very practical skills such as navigation, map reading, outdoor cooking and other camp craft.

Voyage Phase

On the voyage phase the Young Explorers will join the ship as working crew and sail the ship between Scotland and a Nordic country.

The ship provides an unpredictable, non-discriminatory and challenging environment where the young people will be tested and discover new depths in themselves and others - the sea does not discriminate. They will run the ship in four teams, known as ‘watches’. They are given responsibilities that have real consequences for themselves, others, the ship and the environment. They will be responsible for all sail setting, steering, course following, and look out duties. These include both individual and team-based tasks that achieve tangible goals.

Alongside these practical elements, the theory of Tall Ship sailing, Safety at Sea and Navigation and Passage Planning will also be delivered. Additional tasks will include galley duties (assisting the ships’ cook to serve 50+ crew three meals a day plus tea and coffee breaks), cleaning, and ship husbandry as required.

The young people will engage in a continuous, residential experience. They live in close quarters, often a long way from land, disconnected from elements of modern life. That makes participants more present and accelerates the learning experience.