Aisling Kirwan Receives Grant 12th April 2016

Aisling Kirwan

AislingThe Grub Club was founded by Aisling Kirwan. The programme combines Aisling’s love of cooking with her eagerness to see every child succeed. As a teacher, Aisling experienced the significant and immediate effect that bad diets have on students’ ability to succeed, particularly those from low-income backgrounds. Further research confirmed that fulfilling a child’s basic nutritional requirements significantly impacts on their ability to be healthy and reach their full potential.

The Grub Club provides low-income families with the tools required to be nutritionally healthy through free weekly after-school cooking lessons run by trained professionals. Participants enhance their knowledge and skills required to make informed nutritional decisions in order to improve their brain function and achieve their optimum potential. Community is at the core of The Grub Club with students working alongside their parents/carers to produce affordable nutritious meals within a familiar school setting to support students to be successful.


Sonia Shaljean Receives Grant 11th April 2016

Sonia Shaljean

Sonia ShaljeanSonia Shaljean is the Founder of Lads Need Dads C.I.C. LADS NEED DADS provides male-led group mentoring, bush-craft survival and life-skill training to boys age 11-15 who have been identified as at risk of exclusion, offending, under achieving or dropping out of school and who crucially, have absent fathers or limited access to a supportive male role model.

Sonia set up Lads Need Dads to address the ever-growing social issue of the absent father and its impact on young males.   Having worked for over twenty years in the fields of offending behaviour, alcohol and drugs, homelessness, anger management and complex families, Sonia found, not only were the majority of the service users’ she encountered, male, but many also shared a common factor; either an absent or abusive father.  Sonia felt compelled to set up a project that addressed this issue in order to prevent another generation of boys growing into the clients she had worked with, and hence Lads Need Dads was birthed in 2015.

Lads Need Dads 12-month Equip and Engage Programme currently piloting in Clacton-On-Sea, Essex, aims to equip and empower boys to become motivated, responsible, capable, resilient and emotionally competent. The Shackleton grant will be used to help fund the delivery of Engage. Engage is a fortnightly, support and life-skill training group, for boys who have completed the 6-month Equip school-based programme. It provides the opportunity for boys to access on-going support and be taught vocational life-skills with the opportunity to put this training into practice by volunteering in the community alongside their peers and mentors.

Sonia is a Lloyds 2015/16 Social Entrepreneur, is married with three sons and is passionate about prevention work.

Foundation Appoints New Trustee

The Shackleton Foundation is pleased to announce that it has appointed Claudia Bradby as a new trustee. Read the full press release here.

New Shackleton Biography

By Endurance We Conquer by Michael SmithA new biography of Sir Ernest Shackleton has been published: Shackleton – By Endurance We Conquer, by Michael Smith. It has been described as the first comprehensive biography of Shackleton since the 1980s and brings a fresh perspective to a compelling, charismatic and extraordinary man.

Ernest Shackleton is one of history’s great explorers, an extraordinary character who pioneered the path to the South Pole over 100 years ago and became a dominant figure in Antarctic discovery. A charismatic personality, his incredible adventures on four expeditions have captivated generations and inspired a dynamic, modern following in business leadership. None more so than the Endurance mission, where Shackleton’s commanding presence saved the lives of his crew when their ship was crushed by ice and they were turned out on to the savage frozen landscape. But Shackleton was a flawed character whose chaotic private life, marked by romantic affairs, unfulfilled ambitions, overwhelming debts and failed business ventures, contrasted with his celebrity status as a leading explorer.

Drawing on extensive research of original diaries and personal correspondence, Michael Smith’s definitive biography brings a fresh perspective to our understanding of this complex man and the heroic age of polar exploration.

Tim Fright writes about his ‘My Antarctic’ challenge: cycling from London-Geneva

Tim antarctic setting offAs part of the Shackleton Foundation’s My Antarctic campaign I cycled a Brompton bicycle from London to Geneva via Paris last month. This was a solo journey of 650 miles or so (1000km) completed in one week using a Garmin sat nav and Google maps.

I undertook this challenge because navigation has never been my strong point (several friends and colleagues will readily agree to this). Because of this, I was nervous ahead of the start of a) getting lost b) not being able to speak French properly and c) looking foolish in front of friends and colleagues if I did not succeed. In essence the challenge was a fear of the unknown, and a fear of failure. These hurdles however, were smaller than I thought.

Tim antarctic Eiffel Tower

I was outside of my comfort zone, and at first, the challenge seemed a little overwhelming. Breaking the distance down day by day into its constituent parts helped however. As did the support via Twitter of the Shackleton Foundation, Brompton and many other friends and supporters. As the days passed my confidence in my own abilities grew. I was also able to tell when the sat nav was mistakenly suggesting alternative routes (often).

There were several days were thing had gone wrong, or the ups were steeper then the downs. Without those moments however, the satisfaction in completing my challenge would be that much smaller.

Tim Antarctic fieldFinally, I had time on the bike to reflect on what I was doing, and why I was doing it. The Shackleton Foundation has been able to find some incredible people, creating new charitable ventures that are making real differences in peoples lives. The My Antarctic challenge helps us to continue to find more like-minded people to support. If you have any spare change down the back of the sofa please donate. Just as important, however: do you have a challenge that you think you can beat, and raise money for charity? Do it. You’ll be surprised what you can do!


Tim’s My Antarctic Challenge – an update from the road

Shackleton Foundation trustee, Tim Fright, is currently cycling from London to Geneva on a fold-up Brompton bike to raise money for the charity.

Tim Antarctic day 4He has written an update from the road:

“Overall the going’s been good so far and I’ve been lucky enough to see some fantastic parts of the English and French countryside. A few minor mishaps with the sat nav taking me on unpaved roads, closed roads and farm tracks has been deeply frustrating but dinner and bed never fail to make up for the travails of the day!

Right knee a little upset so now the fun begins as the second half is definitely more hilly! Please do keep that sponsorship coming – it is both much appreciated, and going to a very good cause!”

Found out more and donate on Tim’s fundraising page.

Shackleton Trustee sets off on a Brompton bicycle to face his ‘Antarctic’

To mark the centenary of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition this year, the Shackleton Foundation is running the My Antarctic campaign. This campaign sees trustees of the Shackleton Foundation face their very own ‘Antarctic’, a personal challenge to overcome, in order to raise money for the charity. So far trustees have posed nude for life drawing classes and spent a night on London’s streets. The next challenge sees Tim Fright cycle from London to Geneva on a fold-up Brompton bicycle later this month. Tim’s journey will be around 700 miles and should (barring minor mishaps and misfortunes) take a little over a week.

tim brompton trainingSpeaking ahead of his challenge, Tim has said “I am ever-so slightly terrified of what lies before me, but grateful for the support of both Brompton, and the Shackleton Foundation.  Over the past few months I’ve expanded my horizons and explored more of the UK by bike. My hope is that more people take up the My Antarctic challenge and do something that pushes their boundaries, expands their horizons, and raises much-needed funds for the Shackleton Foundation to continue its valuable work. #MyAntarctic”

Founded in 2007, by descendants of the original Nimrod expedition, the Shackleton Foundation celebrates the legacy of the great man in a 21st century context.

The Shackleton Foundation provides a unique solution to the varied problems of today’s disadvantaged youth. They do this by providing seed-funding to social entrepreneurs with innovative projects that make a positive impact to the lives of young people. People prepared to take a risk to help others less fortunate themselves – truly in the spirit of Shackleton.

Find out more and donate on Tim’s fundraising page.

25% off Special Edition of South

Friends of the Shackleton Foundation can receive 25% of a special edition of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ‘South’, featuring a foreword by explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes.

Bloomsbury have published this high quality collectors edition of South to commemorate the centenary of the Endurance expedition.

To get your hands on a copy, with 25% off, simply order from and enter South14 at the checkout.

I’ve got my copy!

south bloomsbury2

Year 9 student creates replica of Shackleton diary

The Shackleton Foundation received this lovely diary from a year nine student from Purbeck Upper School in Dorest.

We are posting the first page to mark the centenary of the Endurance setting sail from Plymouth.

More to follow in the coming months!

shackleton diary



Shackleton sets sail for the Antarctic 100 years ago today

The Endurance set sail from Plymouth 100 years ago today. The following is an excerpt from South, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s account of the Endurance expedition.

“Towards the end of July all was ready, when suddenly the war clouds darkened over Europe. It had been arranged for the Endurance to proceed to Cowes, to be inspected by His Majesty on the Monday of Cowes week. But on Friday I received a message to say that the King would not be able to go to Cowes. My readers will remember how suddenly came the menace of war. Naturally both my comrades and I were greatly exercised as to the probable outcome of the danger threatening the peace of the world. We sailed from London on Friday, August 1, 1914, and anchored off Southend all Saturday. On Sunday afternoon I took the ship off Margate, growing hourly more anxious as the ever-increasing rumours spread; and on Monday morning I went ashore and read in the morning paper the order for general mobilization.











I immediately went on board and mustered all hands and told them that I proposed to send a telegram to the Admiralty offering the ships, stored, and, if they agreed, our own services to the country in the event of war breaking out. All hands immediately agreed, and I sent off a telegram in which everything was placed at disposal of the Admiralty. We only asked that, in the event of the declaration of the war, the Expedition might be considered as a single unit, so as to preserve its homogeneity. There were enough trained and experiences men amongst us to man a destroyer. Within an hour I received a laconic wire from the Admiralty saying “Proceed.” Within two hours a longer wire came from Mr. Winston Churchill, in which we were thanked for our offer, and saying that the authorities desired that the Expedition, which had the full sanction and support of the Scientific and Geographical Societies, should go on.

So, according to these definite instructions, the Endurance sailed to Plymouth. On Tuesday the King sent for me and handed me the Union Jack to carry on the Expedition. That night, at midnight, the war broke out. On the following Saturday, August 8, the Endurance sailed from Plymouth, obeying the direct orders of the Admiralty.”