Our Story in 2019
1. INTRODUCTION & WELCOME
The Trustees present their Annual Report for the Robertson Outdoor Bursary for the year ended 31 December 2019.
In our sixth year of operations R.O.B. continued to fundraise, grow partnerships and increase the number of people we are supporting to obtain educational qualifications in Tanzania.
We commenced the year by welcoming a new volunteer to the R.O.B. core team, Paul Evans, who will be leading on website management. Thanks to his expertise, we redesigned and launched a significantly improved website earlier in the year.
Our greatest achievement has been to finally realise our dream to truly transform lives in Tanzania through our Guide Training Scholarship programme, run in partnership with the College of African Wildlife Management and The African Walking Company. In 2019, we funded eight porters (four men & four women) currently working on Kilimanjaro to complete their guide licence training.
We were also delighted to continue our clothing recycling project with the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project in Tanzania and the Lake District National Park in the United Kingdom, transporting approximately two hundred items of much-needed clothing to help better equip mountain support staff.
We continue to collaborate with our corporate sponsors, partners and volunteers to improve our ways of working that harness their expertise and resources as we develop and grow. It was an exciting end to the year for us with the invitation to be one of the Kendal Mountain Festival supported charities in November 2019.
Fundraising to support our education grants remains our key focus. Since our inception we have helped over one hundred people, working in the outdoor industry in Tanzania, gain qualifications that will help them improve their careers and, through this, their own lives and those of their families.
Our journey continues and we are ever grateful to our donors, partners, volunteers and awardees for helping us to continue to learn and grow to obtain the maximum benefit from every penny people donate to us.
We thank all who are walking this journey with us.
Chair and founder of Robertson Outdoor Bursary
2. ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS
2019 has been an exceptional year for us marked by four major events:
The realisation of a Guide Training Scholarship programme with the College of African Wildlife Management (CAWM) and The African Walking Company (AWC), providing training for eight porters working on Mt. Kilimanjaro to gain their guide licence
Transportation of over two hundred items of clothing from the Lake District National Park (LDNP) in the United Kingdom to the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project (KPAP) in Tanzania
Being invited to participate at this year’s Kendal Mountain Festival as one of their supported charities
2.1 Key Milestones
This period of operation was marked by the following key milestones:
January – March
Recruitment of new volunteer, Paul Evans, to our Core team
Redesign and launch of new website
Launch of Guide Training Scholarships
System established to transport kit from the Lake District National Park to the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project
Selection process commenced for Guide Training Scholarships
Kendal Mountain Festival partnership agreed
Amazon Smile registration completed
June – August 19
Eight Awardees announced for Guide Training Scholarships
Over two hundred items of kit transported from LDNP to KPAP
• Eight awardees commence guide licence training at the College of African Wildlife Management
All eight awardees successfully complete their guide licence training
Redesign of leaflets
Presenting at this year’s Kendal Mountain Festival 2019 as one of their supported charities
• Annual Christmas fundraising event with tombola at the ‘Namaste’ après bar, Argentière
2.2 Kit Collections.
We were able to distribute a further two hundred items of clothing during the summer from the Lake District National Park to the mountain crew clothing loan stores managed by the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project.
2.3 Fund Raising
This year we held two main fundraising events and have also seen the number of our regular donors slightly increase through our ‘Friends of ROB Scheme’.
We were proud to present at this year’s Kendal Mountain Festival as one of their charities of choice where we raised over £650.
Our annual Christmas fundraising Apéro & Tombola at Namasté Sport, Argentière raised a record £520.
We made a series of grant applications to various UK organisations, and were successfully awarded a grant of £500 from the Alchemy Foundation.
We were also delighted to see a small income from Amazon Smile donations.
We also continue to receive regular income from the ‘Friends of R.O.B.’ though increasing their number remains an annual focus
3. AWARDS & AWARDEES
Guide Training Scholarships
At the beginning of the year we committed to fund eight places (four men and four women) through their guide licence training at the College of African Wildlife Management. We worked in partnership with the college and The African Walking Company to recruit and select the awardees. We were delighted to see all eight qualifying as guides in October.
In addition we received donations from two people who had climbed Kilimanjaro with the request to manage the process of paying for the two guides who had supported their climb to complete their guide revalidation courses at the College of African Wildlife Management. The two guides successfully completed this by year end
4. CORPORATE AND OTHER PARTNERS
Our partnerships with CAWM & KPAP in Tanzania continue to be strengthened with our joint working on the Guide Training Scholarships and kit recycling.
We were delighted to be approached to participate in the Kendal Mountain Festival 2019 and to be one of their supported charities and we look forward to building on what was an excellent first festival for us. Besides raising a considerable sum of money for the charity, we raised our profile and made several key connections with potential new partners that we will follow through in 2020.
In this sixth year of operations, our relationship with The African Walking Company is now well established and they continue to be an indispensable source of support and advice for us on how our donors’ money can be most wisely spent.
6. LOOKING FORWARD
The key learning point for us this year has been towards creating a robust process for the recruitment of awardees to our Guide Training Scholarships, so that we can now carry on through 2020 in the knowledge that these are well established. Tracking the progress of our awardees and identifying our next cohort for guide training will be our top priority in 2020.
The redesign of our website has been timely and the addition of a new web design volunteer to our team enabled us to improve our image and streamline our working in time for raising our profile at the Kendal Mountain Festival. We hope to strengthen this and continue to grow relationships with new corporate partners.
Continuing to raise our profile via our website, social media presence and our newsletters will help us to continue to build on such partnerships and keep our donors, supporters and awardees up-to-date with our work.
As ever, we will need to maintain our focus on fundraising to allow our work to continue, and also continue to strengthen our relationships in Tanzania to ensure that we spend the money, that our donors have so generously given, wisely and effectively.
In the year ahead we will:
Continue to run fundraising events and promote our work to grow more regular donors through our ‘Friends of R.O.B’ network
Recruit our next cohort of awardees to our Guide Training Scholarships in line with our fundraising capacity
Track the progress of awardees completing their guide licence training
Maintain a higher profile web and social media presence
Continue to consolidate our relationships with our partners in Tanzania and Europe and explore new opportunities of working with them
Monitor and report income raised from Amazon Smile donations
We are looking forward to a successful 7th year for our charity.