Polly’s Challenge

Opportunities for all Island children

Polly’s Challenge is a funded programme for Island children aged 10 – 14 years during the school holidays.
Five action packed days help build confidence and a sense of adventure!

About the programme

Polly’s Fund, which supports Polly’s Challenge, was set up thanks to the family and friends of Polly Birch. Polly was a much-loved vet, sailor, mum, wife, sister, daughter and friend. Above all Polly loved adventure and wanted to encourage other people to go out and experience the world.

Polly’s Challenge is a follow on opportunity which allows 10 – 14 year olds, who would not necessarily afford the chance to get back out on the water.

Polly’s Challenge is a special funded opportunity for Island children

With the kind donations from Polly’s friends and family to Polly’s Fund, as well as support from Children in Need we are delighted to say that since the programme started in 2018 we have taken 90 children out on the water!

Children are asked to raise £20 sponsorship before the programme starts. This money will go back into Polly’s Fund, helping to make sure Polly’s Challenge can continue for years to come.

Financial assistance is available if required – further information can be found here: Polly’s Challenge Sponsorship Waiver Policy

Who’s it for?

Leave no child behind

We wish to offer these places to Island youngsters who are eager to learn more at UKSA and might not normally have the opportunity, giving them the chance to develop their skills and potential passion for sailing and watersports.


Choose from either:

  • Kayaking
  • Stand up Paddle boarding
  • Keelboating

    and more!
RYA Start Sailing:

Over the five days you will work towards your:

  • RYA Dinghy Level 1 & 2.
  • By the end of the course you will have learnt all about the essentials of sail handling, wind awareness, steering, rope work and safety at sea.

Polly’s Fund for the future

Each year Polly’s friends, and family come together to raise funds to enable more Isle of Wight young people to have an on the water adventure over the holidays. In 2020 Polly’s Day went virtual and with the help of its own website, ensured there were challenges to suit all ages and abilities to continue the fundraising fun. This year Polly’s friends and family raised over a whopping £35,000!

Check it out https://www.pollysday.com/

If you would like to make a contribution to the fund check out our Just Giving page

Don’t just take our word for it

Parent of a Polly’s Challenge Participant

“My son Brody has benefited so much from the Polly’s Challenge course, he was quite shy and not usually one to enjoy being out of his comfort zone but he absolutely took to the challenge with his confidence and enthusiasm growing each day. It has taught him to have a go at new things without fear of failure and he has used Polly’s Challenge as the inspiration to apply to the Wildlife Trust competition with his project plan to “look after the bees”, just as Polly Birch said”.

Register your interest