Grant Awards

Young Explorers' Trust

YET Awards for 2023

Applications are open for U25 peer group expeditions and individual members of expeditions in 2023.

How the awards work

A panel assesses the applications based on various criteria:

  • Young adults aged 25 or under, planning an adventurous pursuit or expedition
  • The reason for the application and the nature of the project
  • Any special circumstances e.g. at home, disability, disadvantage
  • Quality of application bearing in mind the ability of the applicant where possible
  • Fair distribution of the awards to obtain a balance e.g. type of adventure, gender, minorities, age, etc.

Awards can be applied for:

Individuals on expeditions in the UK or abroad
(closing date 1 March 2023)

Peer group expeditions
(closing date 1 February 2023)

For youth expeditions organised by schools, youth groups, etc. please see information on Evaluations.

General information

The Young Explorers’ Trust offers grant aid to individuals aged 25 and under who are taking part in expeditions or other adventurous activities. Skip to our guide to YET awards which will explain what each one is about.

Are you planning to go on an expedition?

Download an Individual application form or Peer group application form to apply for an award. Further advice can be obtained from Ted Grey.

View previous award winners:

Or read their reports:


Guide to YET awards

Applications are welcome from all types of young people undertaking expeditions or adventurous pursuits. The definition of adventure should relate to the background and experience of the applicant. In recent years awards have been given to enable participation in expeditions abroad, or at sea, for physical adventure, community projects, conservation work and fieldwork in developing countries, and to an autistic youngster attending an adventure course in Wales.

The awards

The YET has many Awards available to individuals on expeditions or peer groups planning their own self-led ventures at home or abroad. There is a common application form which covers all of these awards.

Most YET awards are named after explorers who have achieved great feats in the past. They have all played their part in encouraging the youth of today to have the opportunity to follow in their footsteps, creating their own Everests.

The following sections tell more about each of the people, places and organisations after whom the awards are named:

The Everest Award

The Everest Award was launched in 2012. Named after the highest point on Earth, its summit is achieved by few. This award gives opportunities for young people to achieve their own “Everest” by facing up to a challenge in an expedition setting. It is primarily aimed at prospective expeditioners who have had some disadvantage in their lives.

The John Hunt Awards

John Hunt, later Lord Hunt, led the first ascent of Mount Everest in 1952. He always had a keen interest in adventurous activities for the young, establishing  Endeavour Training, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and many initiatives with disadvantaged or delinquent youth. He was the first President of the Young Explorers’ Trust. This award is awarded to overseas expeditions only and priority is given to disadvantaged members.

Vivian Fuchs Awards

Sir Vivian Fuchs was a noted explorer in Africa and the Polar Regions. He was the leader of the first Trans Antarctic Expedition in 1956 -57. A keen believer in youth exploration  he was the President of the YET from 1979 -85 and subsequently an active Vice President. These awards are given annually to members of an overseas youth expedition.

Jim Bishop Awards

Jim Bishop was an outstanding young engineer, scientist and explorer who was tragically killed whilst on an international expedition to the Karakorum. He was originally inspired by mountains and adventure as a teenager and he always regarded this initial experience as an important factor in his subsequent life. He always endeavoured to encourage this taste for adventure in the young and the Jim Bishop Awards were established by his family and friends to help further these ideals. The Fund is administered by the Young Explorers’ Trust.

The Jim Bishop Awards were established to assist young people to take part in adventurous projects at home or abroad. Applications are welcomed from all types of young people not necessarily undertaking expeditions.

The Stephenson Expedition Awards

The Antarctic Peninsular

Alfred Stephenson was the first Chairman of the YET Expedition Screening Panel and a great believer in the value of youth expeditions. He was a noted polar explorer and member of the highly successful British Graham Land Expedition 1935 – 1937, now called the Antarctic Peninsular. He was also secretary of the Antarctic Club for over 40 years. These Awards are for members of overseas expeditions.

David Hollier Award

This annual Award is restricted to young people who are members of an overseas youth expedition. David Hollier was a teacher and scout leader who organized many youth expeditions abroad, including Iceland, parts of Africa and Norway, fully recognizing the value such experiences have on the development of our young people. For many years he was a voluntary officer of the Young Explorers’ Trust. Priority is given to scout expeditions and individuals.

The YET Awards

The YET Awards are funded from donations to the Trust which have not been allocated to any of the other Awards. They are given to young people from the UK who are members of an overseas youth expedition.

The Derbyshire Youth Exploration Group Award

Alison Hargreaves, first lady to conquer Everest without oxygen (member of a Derbyshire youth expedition to Arctic Norway in 1977)

This award is open to young members of overseas expeditions who live or are at school in Derbyshire.

The Peter Smith Award

Early in his career Peter taught Geography but later became the Chief Inspector of Geography for English Schools. His heart was in the outdoors, especially expeditions. A long-time member of the Brathay Exploration Group he also worked with the Royal Geographical Society in various capacities including Vice-President.

Important Information

The making of grants through the YET Awards Scheme is made possible by the kind acts of benevolence of individuals and organisations keen to encourage and support youth exploration. The YET Awards Scheme is a mechanism by which applications for and the awarding of grants is managed. In deciding to whom grants are made, YET has not evaluated the processes, systems, or risk management of the Venture or of any main or third-party Provider with which the beneficiary is to travel or make use of their services. The donation of the award alone does not confer a mark of evaluation on the Venture or any of its Providers.

Other Youth Exploration Grants

Yorkshire Schools Exploring Society

Yorkshire Schools Exploring Society

The Yorkshire Schools Exploring Society makes awards annually to young people aged 15 to 19 years at the start of the expedition in full-time education in a Yorkshire school or college to assist them to take part in expeditions or adventurous projects at home or abroad. The definition of adventure should relate to the ability and experience of the applicant. An expedition, or adventurous pursuit, should involve such elements as; is challenging for the individual, involves physical adventure, community project, conservation or fieldwork; takes place in a challenging or wilderness environment; involves travel (not merely a standing camp).

See www.yses.org.uk for further details and an application form.