Arete Residential Fund is a registered charity, number 1186833 under the charities commission. It was setup by the trustees Mark Walker, Paul Bayliss and Robert Berry in July 2019. The initiation of the charity was made possible through donations by Arete Outdoor Centre to provide the required setup funding.
The official charity objects for Arete Residential Fund are ‘The relief of poverty or financial hardship among young people under the age of 18 by the provision of bursaries to enable them to attend outdoor education courses at outdoor education centres that they could not otherwise afford so that they may participate in activities which will develop their skills, capacities and capabilities.‘
The importance of outdoor education in the development of young people is well documented with research examples given on the consortium Learning Away. Historically outdoor pursuit centres were set up in the 1950’s-70’s by the local authority to educate young people about the great outdoors. They would have been heavily funded by the council with minimal costs enabling participation for all. Unfortunately since then almost all centres now have to self finance with limited council budgets, even for the centres still connected to a county. Worse still, a significant number of centres across England and Wales have had to close their doors as this funding has stopped. This has led to less opportunity for young people to have access to quality outdoor education, and certainly when activities take place off site. Centres that utilise the wider adventurous environment off site, and the many extra benefits, have higher costs than on site centres who are restricted to their grounds. It is this form of high quality outdoor education, off site and in the mountains, on the coast or in the wilderness, that we wish to provide bursaries for within England and Wales.
Arete Residential Fund raises income to award bursaries through applying for charitable grants, profit on charity investments and donations direct to the fund. Each year bursaries are awarded to applicants that are selected by the trustees that meet the criteria. The number and amount of bursaries will depend on the amount of money available. If application numbers in a given year are low then unused money will be carried over to the year after.