Shackleton Foundation Newsletter, Spring 2014

This year marks the charity’s seventh anniversary – a period in which we have awarded a little over £150,000 to the 15 fabulous organisations whose details you can find on page 3. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the departure from London of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance expedition in August 1914. To mark the occasion we are stepping up a gear both in our efforts to raise additional funds and to identify and support even more inspirational leaders.

Click here for the full newsletter.

my antarctic

Henry Worsley, Trustee, is interviewed about his expeditions

“Henry Worsley is a superior adventurer, a Lieutenant Colonel in the British Army, with his book In Shackleton’s Footsteps: A Return to the Heart of the Antarctic a captivating author and change maker. Being a descendant of Frank Worsley, the skipper and captain of the Endurance, he undertook an extraordinary expedition to follow in the footsteps of his forbears to the heart of the Antarctic. Apart from this he helped set up The Shackleton Foundation which aims to support people who embody the leadership style and spirit of Ernest Shackleton.”

Henry discusses his expeditions, his life in Washington DC, his passion for painting and the Shackleton Foundation.

Click here for the full podcast.




Shackleton Leader, Carina Millstone, celebrates 5th birthday of her project

The Shackleton Foundation gave a Leadership award to Carina Millstone to Launch the London Orchard Project. The project works with community groups across London, mapping, planting, nurturing, restoring, harvesting fruit trees. Through these urban orchards, Carina hoped to strengthen communities, improve well-being and build resilience – this year Carina will plant her 100th orchard in London.

In the past five years The London Orchard Project staff have shared their experiences at conferences across the UK, in Europe and the US, and have had hundreds of activists, community groups and local councils seeking advice, wishing to launch their very own urban community orchards. So, at their fifth birthday party in May 2014 The London Orchard Project re-launched as The Urban Orchard Project.

So, happy birthday to Carina and The London Orchard Project. We are so proud of what you have achieved, and we cannot wait to witness the success of The Urban Orchard Project throughout the country.

orchard 1

Shackleton Leader honoured with launch party at the House of Commons

Baillie Aaron co-founded Spark Inside, a social enterprise start-up that won the 2011 Cambridge University Entrepreneur’s Social Enterprise Award.

Spark Inside’s mission is to provide court-involved young people with opportunities for role modelling, inspiration, success, and enrichment through its coaching program. Studies have consistently shown that at-risk young people benefit tremendously from on-going mentorship relationships. The Spark Inside programme is based on empirically-tested best practices and provides adult coaches for youth in custody, commencing during their sentence and extending through to their community re-entry.

spark inside HoC









Spark Inside was being honoured with a launch at the House of Commons, and the Shackleton Foundation was invited to attend. Trustees, Matthew and Joanna, attended and had the most fascinating two hours with Baillie, her co-workers, trustees, MPs, and supporters from all walks of life.

Having finished her pilot project very successfully, Baillie has just received enough government funding to pay for the coaching of 160 of the highest risk young people in the criminal justice system in the next year.

We are very proud of what she has managed to achieve with Spark Inside, and we look forward to seeing what is to come!

spark inside HoC2

Trustee visits latest Shackleton Leader, Alanna O’Garro

Alanna O’Garro, Managing Director of Rivers Coaching. One of our trustees visited Alanna to see Rivers Coaching in action:

We have experienced 20 years of intense educational reform and our standards of education still do not match our international counterparts. Parents, teachers and children still have to battle through a minefield of finding an institution of education they deserve. This is because there is a lack of equity of education for children in Britain today.

Rivers Coaching 1.jpg












With over 90% of Britain’s children being educated in state schools, teachers are presented with a job that far extends teaching their subject. Low levels of literacy, low levels of numeracy, poverty, constraints of school budgets are just some of the factors that have a negative impact on teaching and learning, thereby leading to a disparity in education for those who achieve and those who do not.

Teachers are continuously pressured to meet the unrealistic demands of those that don’t stand in the classroom every day. They are left overworked, demoralized and disenchanted. Their professional development is neglected and not prioritized. CPD becomes a mere tick-boxing activity and rarely makes a difference in the classroom.

Rivers Coaching was established to support teachers, and continue the training process when in post, improving education.

Rivers Coaching 2.jpg


The Shackleton Foundation Strengthens Board

The Shackleton Foundation, the charity which supports people who exemplify the spirit of Sir Ernest Shackleton, has strengthened its board of trustees with the appointment of Abel Hadden it is announced today (6 March 2014).

AbelAbel Hadden is a partner at leading international communications company Bell Pottinger and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience at an important time in the development of the charity.

Commenting on the appointment Bill Shipton, The Shackleton Foundation’s chairman, said ‘I am thrilled that Abel has agreed to join us as we prepare to celebrate the centenary of perhaps Sir Ernest Shackleton’s most famous expedition to Antarctica which set off in 1914.’

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 ambitious people who exemplify the spirit of Sir Ernest Shackleton: inspirational leaders with innovative projects that make a positive impact to the lives of young people.



The Shackleton Foundation

  • seeks to help disadvantaged and socially marginalised young people. It does this by supporting aspiring Leaders and social entrepreneurs who exemplify the spirit of Shackleton with seed-funding to make their ideas a reality. In particular the charity’s trustees, who review applications for potential funding three times a year (usually in February, May and October) are looking for leadership, innovation, enterprise, inspiration, ambition, endurance and courage in the applications. Each grant recipient is mentored by a trustee to ensure that their inspirational ideas really will make a significant difference to the lives of disadvantaged young people.
  • likes to support Leaders with high risk, but high potential projects. The Leaders that are awarded funding by the Shackleton Foundation are often considered too risky or too early in the endeavour for other funders, and often struggle to gain funding from traditional sources.

Twitter: @ShackletonF

Facebook: /ShackletonFoundation

Shackleton Leader, Baillie Aaron, does TEDx talk

Shackleton Leader Baillie Aaron, co-founder and Executive Director of Spark Inside, was invited to speak at TEDx event called “unlabelled” in London’s Covent Garden. Baillie spoke on the subject of dropping the label “ex-offender” for people that have spent time in prison.

Spark Inside’s mission is to provide court-involved young people with opportunities for role modelling, inspiration, success, and enrichment through its coaching program. Studies have consistently shown that at-risk young people benefit tremendously from on-going mentorship relationships. The Spark Inside programme is based on empirically-tested best practices and provides adult coaches for youth in custody, commencing during their sentence and extending through to their community re-entry.

Once a thief, always a thief?:

Cause4’s My Antarctic Challenge

The Shackleton Foundation believes everyone has an ‘Antarctic’. ‘My Antarctic’ invites you to take on a personal fear or challenge. We have previously showcased the ‘My Antarctic’ challenges of our Trustees, Matthew (nude modelling) and Karen (spending a night on the streets), and our Ambassador Anton Oliver (performing with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra). Cause4 was the first company to take on a team challenge.

IMG_0346Armed with a picture of Shackleton and a map, the Cause4 team donned their walking boots to raise money for the Shackleton Foundation. The Cause4 ‘My Antarctic’ challenge was to complete Shackleton’s mission to the South Pole. The team started at the Shackleton statue at the Royal Geographical Society and finished at the ‘South Pole’ on the Great Map at the National Maritime Museum, stopping off at Burberry, Fortnum and Masons, and the Whisky Exchange along the way to ‘pick up’ his supplies.

The challenge provided a great opportunity for teambuilding, and for putting into practice Shackleton’s refusal to leave a team member behind. The team found that the importance of strong leadership really shone through when discussing the best way to navigate the way to each location. By working as a team on a fun activity outside of the office, different skills came to the forefront and the team bonded in a greater way than we would have done in the workplace.

Here’s what the team had to say about the challenge:IMG_0366

This was a really fun and interactive way to learn about Shackleton and the relevance his experience still has for the modern today – for example how important it is to have someone to take charge and provide leadership, and how much better it is when everyone sticks together to make sure no one gets left behind.’ – Zoe Dean, Development Coordinator.

I really enjoyed seeing bits of London I’ve never been to, as well as spending time with the rest of the Cause4 team (important since I’m relatively new to the organisation) and most importantly finding out more about Shackleton and what he did.’ – Katrina Black, Project Coordinator – Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Programme.

IMG_0361I learnt about Shackleton’s team spirit when the team didn’t abandon me when I was slowing them down!’ – Isabel Richards, Associate.

It was fun to be out of the office with the team for the day.’ – Sam Davis, Development Coordinator.

You can find out some more information about the Cause4 team challenge, and donate to their challenge here.

If you want to find out more about bespoke challenges for your company, please contact

Anton Oliver’s ‘My Antarctic’ Challenge

The Shackleton Foundation is very proud of Anton Oliver, our first Ambassador to take on a ‘My Antarctic‘ challenge.

The Shackleton Foundation believes everyone has an ‘Antarctic’. This is a personal challenge you have, something that maybe scares you, but a challenge you would also secretly love to conquer.

Anton Oliver is the former captain of the All Blacks, the New Zealand rugby union team. Although used to being in front of large audiences on the rugby pitch, the idea of a musical performance was well outside of his comfort zone. So, for his ‘My Antarctic’ challenge Anton travelled to New Zealand to perform the story of Peter and the Wolf alongside the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. Here is his experience:

Anton rehearsal“So I knew I was really in the brown stuff after my first rehearsal.  Unable to read sheet music I had learnt the score that was sent to me in London so I could at least be ‘off book’ when I got to NZ. Half way through our first rehearsal (only one of two scheduled) the conductor stopped and we compared scores – turns out I had a different score to everyone else and the words that I had learned were mostly out of sync with the orchestra and I’d have to relearn a whole new script.


I had one rehearsal and a free day to get myself somewhere near a level of credibility; a level that meant I wouldn’t be humiliated and laughed at, which was my own ‘Antarctic’ experience: humiliation and fear in front of thousands of people – nowhere to hide, no team to hide behind, just hoards of people laughing at me, out of my depth, looking like a fool.

Fast forward two days and now I’m standing in front of 4000 people, in New Zealand’s premier orchestral venue, being recorded by Radio NZ (our version of the BBC) initially performing the role of MC: introducing the orchestra, conductor, explaining the evening’s structure then retiring to my own room before it was my turn to get back out there and narrate Prokofiev’s ‘Peter and the Wolf’.Anton and Orchestra

Backstage, alone in my room, I turned the light off and lay down on the floor. I closed my eyes and tried to relax. I began to contemplate what the hell I was doing here and why was I so foolish as to agree to do such a stupid blo*dy thing  in the first place: I’m no actor, I’m not a performer, I have cauliflower ears and like red meat – what was I thinking?! Moron!

Fear, genuine fear, is truly an awful emotion to experience – if you’ve ever felt it you’ll know what I’m talking about.

My body was betraying whatever mind tricks I was attempting to deploy on myself: ‘ You’ll be fine Anton (no I won’t)’, ‘You’ve prepared well (I hadn’t), ‘You’ve spoken to thousands of people before (not like this)’. These tricks didn’t stack up with the mysterious nervous foot tapping I’d suddenly developed, the generous flow of sweat that was trickling down my back, and the persistently dry mouth that I constantly had no matter how many sips of water I consumed.

And then it was time.

Anton on stageI stood in the shadows backstage – not too dissimilar to the precious moments in the tunnel before I used to run out on the pitch for the All Blacks – along and lost in my thoughts.

In time I got better. In time, as the tour progressed, the nerves dissipated. In time I actually got to the point where I enjoyed pretending to be a bird, a duck, a wolf etc. But it took time and it wasn’t something I necessarily had fun doing or enjoyed in the moment. Rather, I can look back upon my choice to step outside of my comfort zone and enter the realm of severe perceived personal risk with pride –for it is only in this space, where a perceived fear is real and confronted, that true personal growth is experienced and importantly, enjoyed.”

The Shackleton Foundation would like to say a massive thank you to Anton Oliver for being such a fantastic ambassador! You can donate to Anton’s fantastic challenge online.


Newspaper clippings of Shackleton’s expeditions

Sir Ernest Shackleton was one of the headliners of the Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration and his remarkable achievements – on and off the ice – were documented in the London Gazette.

Here are some old newspaper clippings from the London Gazette on Shackleton’s expeditions.

london gazette