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 was set up to offer a special opportunity to Isle of Wight children to apply for a five-day sailing or watersports course during their summer holidays for just £20, enabling them to have fun, be adventurous and learn new skills through participation in outdoor activities.

Since the launch of the programme in the summer of 2018, 140 Isle of Wight children have taken part in Polly’s Challenge and have had a summer of adventure learning at UKSA. In 2019 Polly’s Fund was lucky enough to receive joint funding from BBC Children In Need to broaden its reach to more disadvantaged young people. For many, it sparked in them a passion for sailing and watersports.

Due to circumstances surrounding COVID-19 in 2020 UKSA was, unfortunately, unable to run a spring or summer programme. However, this didn’t stop Polly’s wonderful friends and family who raised an astounding £35,000 for her fund through a virtual Pollys Day www.pollysday.com to offer on-water adventures to deserving Island children at a time when they need us most. Polly’s family decided to utilise the funds raised to offer local children, who missed out on free watersports sessions in the spring/summer of 2020 as part of a school trip, the opportunity to participate in a Test the Water sailing taster session during Autumn 2020. The generosity of the fund has enabled 64 year 7 students who have missed out to get afloat and 333 year 6 students in spring 2021 to Test the Water as part of a school visit.

Looking to the future and 2021 Pollys Fund is committed to continue supporting Isle of Wight young children, to give them the opportunity to have an adventure just as Polly wished. All money raised helps to make this dream a reality and give young people who have had their normality and freedom altered a chance to unleash a passion for adventure and the sea with their friends.

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Who’s it for?

All island children in school years 6 to 9 can take part in Polly’s Challenge. The funding enables those who may not be able to afford to get back out on the water after taking part in UKSA Test the Water programme.


Get involved

Autumn 2021    Download sponsorship form

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”.

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