Founded in 2007 by descendants of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic expeditions in the early part of the 20th century, the Shackleton Foundation seeks to help disadvantaged and socially marginalised young people.

2009-2010-London-Ceremony-Envisionat10a Vision: To improve the lives of disadvantaged young people by supporting ambitious leaders with innovative social ideas.

Mission: To support social entrepreneurs who exemplify the spirit of Shackleton; inspirational leaders with innovative ideas striving to make a difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people.

Sir Ernest Shackleton enabled his crew to overcome their doubts and fears in the face of true adversity. We are looking for individuals who display those same characteristics of courage and resilience, who have a big idea to help others (we call it your ‘Antarctic’) and are prepared to take the risk to turn it into reality.

We do this by supporting aspiring individuals (we call them Leaders) and social entrepreneurs who exemplify the spirit of Shackleton with seed-funding to help them start their venture.  In particular the Trustees are looking for examples of leadership, innovation, enterprise, inspiration, ambition, endurance and courage in the applications they review.

We provide assistance with practical aspects of starting up a social venture. This includes up to £10,000 in seed-funding,  membership of the Shackleton Leaders’ Forum, quarterly advice surgeries including advice on maximising impact and building a sustainable business model and two years of support from a previous Leader who will act as your dedicated mentor as part of the Leader’s Mentorship Programme.


  • Josh Babarinde
  • David Cornell
  • Tim Fright
  • Richard Gray
  • Abel Hadden
  • Lorraine Kelly OBE
  • Anton Oliver
  • Bill Shipton
  • Rebecca Stephens MBE

    Bill Shipton CUE
    Bill Shipton with students at Cambridge University Entrepreneurs(CUE)


  • Charlotte Hatfield (Chair)
  • Karen Kwong
  • Plum Lomax
  • Gus Majed

Our Charitable Objectives:  

i. Provide financial support to people of any age, background and nationality who exemplify the spirit and leadership qualities of Sir Ernest Shackleton, in particular where their leadership can make a difference to the disadvantaged and socially marginalised young people in the UK;

ii. Commemorate the life and achievements of Sir Ernest Shackleton by such means as the directors will determine;

iii. Advance the education of the public in any recognised academic discipline that touches upon the life and achievements of Sir Ernest Shackleton, including but not limited to leadership, history, geography, geology, photography, and climatology;

iv. To advance such other lawful charitable purposes as the Directors shall in their absolute discretion determine.

Registered Charity Number: 1118686

Data Protection Statement

As part of its grant making activities, the Shackleton Foundation processes and uses data that applicants and grantees provide about their projects, organisations, beneficiaries and the applicants themselves.

The Foundation obtains and uses such information to assess applications, monitor the use of funding, conduct evaluations and publicise its grant making.  This includes transfer to and use by such individuals and organisations as the Foundation deems appropriate.

From time to time the Foundation may need to share the information for other purposes including:-

  • Determining, preventing or detecting crime
  • Validating contracts
  • As part of external auditing requirements

By submitting applications and reports to the Shackleton Foundation, you give explicit consent to the Foundation to use such data accordingly.