Part 1 – Applying For A Grant – General Guidance

Purpose of the Trust

The Ulysses Trust (UT) is a registered Charity that encourages and provides financial assistance for challenging expeditions and adventurous activities by the Volunteer Reserve (VR) and Cadet Forces of the UK in order to:

  • Enhance their morale, recruitment, retention, and public esteem; and to
  • Help develop the characteristics of leadership, teamwork, confidence, initiative, self-discipline and judgement of their individual members.

By so doing, The Ulysses Trust seeks also to enhance the Reserve and Cadet Forces’ contribution to community cohesion and society generally. It therefore places emphasis on inclusivity – determined that opportunities it supports are available and affordable to all – believing such opportunities can have the most transformational impact on units and individuals from otherwise disadvantaged environments.

The Ulysses Trust is also keen to encourage expeditions or projects that add to social cohesion, embrace social action and/or community service at home or abroad, and is a pledged supporter of the #iwill campaign of the charity Step Up To Serve.


All Volunteer Reserve (including University Units) and Cadet Forces are eligible to apply for a grant to help with the financial cost of mounting an expedition. Expeditions must be sponsored by a Unit or HQ, but participants can be drawn from multiple units or other Services, and have JSATFA or appropriate Service authorisation.

The Ulysses Trust does not, as a rule, support competitive sports, package holidays, or expeditions whose principal objective is to fundraise for other charities.  It will however consider exceptions where the challenge or adventurous component justifies this. What might be challenging for some may not be considered so for others. Thus, for example, the Trust is inclined to support resort-based Downhill Skiing and Diving trips for young Cadets, but not for VR applicants unless they have a clear and demonstrable expedition element to them. If in doubt, applicants are invited to discuss with the Trust’s Operations Director.

Normally, an expedition will be distinct from Adventurous Training activity on Annual Camps. However, in the case of Cadets, such activity on Annual Camps may be considered for support, if not eligible for support by public funds and accompanied by a convincing case.

The Trust does not support civilian expeditions, but it may support participants in civilian expeditions, particularly where it can be shown that an appropriate unit expedition is not readily available and that there will be long term benefit to the unit, provided their participation has unit or HQ sponsorship with appropriate service authorisation. Where service authorisation is inappropriate or impractical, this should be explained, with additional information to cover the issues of insurance and legal liabilities.   Examples of civilian organisations that might be approved are: British Exploring Society, Outposts, Raleigh International, and Trekforce.


Grants made range from a few hundred pounds for small or less ambitious expeditions to £5000 or more for major expeditions or involving larger numbers. Occasionally, significantly larger sums are made to particularly ambitious expeditions, though it is essential to discuss these with the Trust’s Operations Director at the outset of planning, ideally a year ahead, before applying.

The Trust endeavours to provide the greatest support to those with the greatest need. The object of Trust grants is to reduce participant contributions to manageable levels for all. Grants are therefore made to the expedition, for the Leader to deploy in a manner that ensures optimum inclusivity.

Making an Application

Applications must be made through The Ulysses Trust Website. We have endeavoured to make the conditions and processes as simple and responsive as possible. Applicants should understand, however, that we are unable to meet all requests for our assistance, so we need sufficient information to ensure that our grants are distributed as effectively and fairly as possible, and aligned to the Trust’s purpose and objectives.

It is important that applicants also read Advice to Units Applying for a Grant, before submitting an application.

Click here for Part 2 – Conditions of Grants