Polly’s Challenge

Opportunities for all Island children

Funded programme for Island children who are in years 6 and 7 during the school holidays. Five action packed days help build confidence and a sense of adventure!

About the programme

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.

Every year 6 child has the opportunity to take part in our Test the Water programme with their school. Polly’s Challenge is a follow-on programme for students who have taken part in Test the Water and can’t wait to get back on the water!

Polly’s fund is a special 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.

Who’s it for?

Children who have completed the Year 6 ‘Test the Water’ programme and want to return for further adventures. Children must be in Year 6 & 7 and in receipt of free schools meals or Pupil Premium.

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:

  • Paddle sports
  • Stand up Paddleboarding
  • 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.


Following spring dates have been released for 2020:

  • RYA Dinghy Start:   6th – 10th April 2020
  • Multi-Activity:          13th – 17th April 2020
  • Multi-Activity:          25th – 29th May 2020

Summer dates to follow!

How to apply?

If your child is eligible and would like to book on a course, please contact Ashleigh on 01983 301901 or [email protected].

Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, and participants are asked to raise £20 towards the cost of the programme; financial assistance is available if required – further information can be found here: Polly’s Challenge Sponsorship Waiver Policy

If you would like to make a donation? 

If you are interested in making a donation to Polly’s Fund, please visit our JustGiving page.

If you would like to set up a programme in memory of a loved one, please contact Jade or Rosie in our fundraising team on [email protected]


“My son Brody has benefitted 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”. Parent

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