Explorer Miles

A bursary scheme with a difference

Since Scott first went to the Antarctic, every explorer will tell you that the planning and funding of an expedition is a crucial part of the experience – and it takes a lot longer than the expedition itself.

We want the ‘lead-up’ to your expedition to be as rewarding, and as memorable as possible. We think we have come up with the best possible way for you to start your journey – Explorer Miles – a way to boost your fundraising and maximise your journey to expedition.

Applying to join the Explorer Miles scheme

Explorer Miles is a bursary scheme with a difference. A bursary is a financial award given to meet financial or other needs. Our bursary initiative gives ‘credit’ towards taking part in an expedition programme with us in return for participation in volunteering/social action. By applying to join our Explorer Miles scheme you have decided to take part in volunteering/social action as part of your time with us.

You agree to accept all the terms of the scheme and understand what is expected of you to qualify for Explorer Miles. To be considered for Explorer Miles, we need you to write to us, to explain how you will benefit from Explorer Miles.

Please read about how the scheme works and our terms and conditions carefully before submitting your letter of application.

Explorer Miles application process

As soon as possible, please write and tell us, in no more than 1500 words:

  • How many volunteering hours you are pledging to volunteer (50 hours is the upper limit for each applicant)?
  • Why taking part in Explorer Miles volunteering/social action will make a positive difference to you/why we should include you
  • How financial support from Explorer Miles will help you make the most of your time on our expedition programme
  • What you are hoping to get out of your experience with British Exploring Society?

Please provide us with a named contact with up to date contact details who has an official status within the organisation / charity you are volunteering with: full name and title, phone number, email, postal address. This named person must be able to sign off and confirm your volunteering hours. They will be contacted by us when your volunteering log is handed in to confirm your volunteering hours.

Please note that we will not be able to process applications without an up to date referee.

Address your letter to: explorers@britishexploring.org We will respond to your letter within 14 days, letting you know whether your application has been accepted or not. If you are accepted for the scheme, we will require you to write a report on your expedition and give a presentation to your school, university or youth group/club about your expedition experience. Further details and guidelines will be provided at a later date.

How we will credit Explorer Miles

You will get a fixed credit for every hour you put in for volunteering, up to a maximum of 50 hours. For example:

10 Hours = 100 Explorer Miles = £100 off your expedition cost
25 Hours = 250 Explorer Miles = £250 off your expedition cost
50 Hours = 500 Explorer Miles = £500 off your expedition cost

Young Explorer

I believe volunteering has made me a more well rounded person. I have a greater appreciation for those less fortunate than I and volunteering encourages me to put other people's needs before my own and make time to listen and help other people. I also believe volunteering has improved my communication and public interaction skills as I enjoy meeting and helping a vast array of different people in my time volunteering.

Once you start looking you'll see there are loads of opportunities to volunteer

Terms and conditions

  • To qualify for the Explorer Miles scheme, all participants must have been accepted onto an expedition with British Exploring Society
  • Only explorers paying the full price of the expedition are eligible to apply (as advertised on the British Exploring Society website)
  • Volunteering hours must be logged and validated on your spreadsheet to qualify. The British Exploring Society office will have the final say on any disputes over the validation of volunteering hours
  • Explorer Miles volunteering hours cannot be backdated to include volunteering completed before signing up for an expedition with British Exploring Society. However, all volunteering hours logged after approval of the Explorer Miles application can be credited
  • Explorer Miles will be credited to your expedition invoice upon confirmation of volunteered hours. British Exploring Society staff will seek confirmation for time logged from the point of contact provided at registration stage
  • Incremental volunteering hours must be credited by 30th April 2020. At present each explorer can earn a maximum of £500 Explorer Miles
  • Explorer Miles are non-transferable and cannot be redeemed for cash. In the event of an explorer being unable to participate in an expedition for any reason the Explorer Miles can be transferred to a future expedition at the discretion of the British Exploring Society office

I volunteered for a week in my local primary school in the Foundation Phase classes and I lead revision sessions in school for year 10 pupils before their English literature exam. Also, I continued the volunteering I do as part of my school's feminism group with which I hold weekly 'healthy relationships' sessions with a group of year 9 girls. Volunteering has helped my independence and confidence, I feel it has made me a more organised person which is a vital skill for the future. Through volunteering, I have come to understand that people think and act in different ways so it has made me a more understanding person who can adapt to help people in a way which is effective to them.

Megan - Young Explorer

I provided activities for elderly which included such things as group quizzes, crosswords, games and group conversations. I also ensure the 'wellbeing' of the elderly by having one on one conversations to ensure no one is lonely. It has enabled me to gain confidence and experience working in a different environment with new people which I've really enjoyed. It has helped me manage my time more efficiently and become more organised as it is a responsibility to arrive on time to all my shifts.

Abi - Young Explorer

I worked as Junior tennis coach at Exmouth Tennis and Fitness centre, working with the age range 6 up to 15 at some points. Volunteering has really enabled me to develop much better in terms of confidence and working as a team member. It has also been brilliant for meeting new people of all ages.

Joseph - Young Explorer

I have volunteered with the Raynes Park Explorer Scouts unit and helped at my local parkrun. Volunteering has helped me to get more involved in my local community and meet new people. I have had opportunities that I wouldn't have had otherwise and have learnt skills that I can transfer into my work life. I have also really enjoyed my volunteering.

Alison - Young Explorer

During my volunteering I worked for Shelter Scotland and British Red Cross Dundee branches. In my personal life I believe volunteering has made me a more well rounded person. I have a greater appreciation for those less fortunate than I and volunteering encourages me to put other people's needs before my own and make time to listen and help other people. I also believe volunteering has improved my communication and public interaction skills as I enjoy meeting and helping a vast array of different people in my time volunteering. I believe all charity work is important as everybody deserves help in life. I regard myself as very fortunate to have caring family and basic needs and it is my belief that everybody deserves these things.

Brian - Young Explorer