Charity News

In February 2017, Challengers received funding from the Hays Travel Foundation towards their Eastleigh Youthscheme. This is a popular project supporting disabled young people who are aged 13 to 18; it allows them to access leisure and recreational activities that they are frequently excluded from.

This scheme received a score of 10 out of 10 from their parental survey when asked how happy their child was at Challengers Eastleigh Youthscheme!

So far in 2017, they have delivered 840 hours of fun at Eastleigh Youthscheme. During this time, they supported 16 disabled young people by ensuring they have regular access to leisure activities. Of the young people that benefitted, 14 required one-to-one or two-to-one support from the youth workers because of the complexities of their impairments. For many of the young people that attend, Challengers is the only place they can go where they are fully included, welcomed, and valued as individuals.

The young people have recently taken part in a range of fun and exciting activities including: a reptile experience, companion cycling, and trips to Blue Reef Aquarium and Marwell Zoo.

Challengers Eastleigh Youth Scheme Update

The Hays Travel Foundation has donated £750 to the British Disabled Angling Association (BDAA) to provide fisheries with disabled access platforms.

BDAA offers inclusive fishing opportunities for disabled children, young people and adults throughout the North East. Fishing is the nation's most popular participating activity and around a fifth of all people who would like to go angling have a disability or health issue that affects their physical activity.

BDAA provides adaptive fishing equipment includes electric reels, rod/reel holders, special mounts, knee braces etc. to assist people with one arm, upper body mobility issues, visually impaired, or stroke effected anglers. The funds provided by the Hays Travel Foundation will pay for one single access platform.

Hays Travel Donate Funds to BDAA for New Platform

The Dawlish branch recently carried out a sky dive and held a family fundraising day in aid of Richard's wish.

This charity was set up to raise much needed funds to provide a child, teenager or young adult undergoing treatment for cancer, with a wish.

This wish can be anything they want and Richard's Wish will do their absolute best to make this wish come true.

They managed to raise £1083.30 in total which was then matched by the Hays Travel Foundation. Overall, the branch donated a total of £2,166.60!

Foundation Match Donations for Dawlish Skydive

The Hays Travel Foundation recently donated £4,500 to the Charlie Cookson Foundation.

The founders of this unique foundation are Sarah and Chris Cookson; Charlie's parents. They created this charity to allow parents, who are the lifeline for their sick child, to be looked after. The time they have with their child is very precious and the Charlie Cookson Foundation can provide financial support to parents to allow them to continue to care for their sick child.

The money provided by the Hays Travel Foundation will fund their annual anniversary fundraising night. This will be a night of celebration, looking back at what the charity has achieved. Their fourth anniversary will be full of amazing music, fantastic food and what will be without a doubt an incredible atmosphere.

This year will be even more special as it is on the eve of Charlie’s memory. With the funding from Hays Travel, they should be able to raise enough funds to support two families, maybe even three!

Hays Travel Foundation fund CCF Annual Anniversary Fundraiser

The Hays Travel Foundation has donated a grant of £1,500 to Opera North, an award winning national opera company in the North of England.

This grant will contribute towards the musicians, singers and conductors the charity need for their new project, The Big Sing. The Big Sing is a vocal project, comprising singing workshops and public performances, for approximately 500 primary and secondary school students aged 8-11 in Yorkshire and the North East.

Opera North has an extensive track record of schools’ engagement work and runs a successful programme of creative education projects with schools across the north of England each year. The charity hope this particular project will promote and build a positive attitude towards singing and music activities amongst children and teachers. It is hoped that this attitude will be sustained after the culmination of the project and enable children to access high level choral activities, particularly those based at schools in areas of disadvantage or with limited opportunities to access these types of activity.

Hays Travel Foundation fund The Big Sing

The Hays Travel Foundation donated £3888.50 in July 2017 to the North East Autism Society to help with their new project to build four luxury lodges on the New Warlands Farm site for people with autism. In particular, the funds will be put towards the cost of equipping the lodges with specialist features.

The society’s Short Break Service was established specifically for young people aged sixteen years and over who have an assessed need for respite. Due to an increasing demand for this service; the NEAS will be building these new lodges to offer enhanced, flexible, and therapeutic short breaks. With a full team of support on hand; the aim is to reduce sensory overload and allow greater independence for guests.

The lodges offer an uncluttered environment with neutral colours to reduce sensory overload and aid wellbeing and comfort. The specialist equipment which our donation will be funding includes safety cabinets for TVs, hoists, electric profile beds, and Emfit seizure alarms.

North East Autism Society Receive Grant for Therapeutic Lodges

The Foundation has granted a total of £21,000 over four years to the Sunderland City of Culture bid. The grant will be used for one of the key projects, 'Generation 21', which started running earlier this year. This project is aimed at people who will be 21 in the year 2021.

The project aims to engage young people with culture in the city, allowing them to be actively involved in the bidding process and take ownership of an aspect of the bid. Young people are able to express their views and celebrate the things in the city that they are proud of. They get the chance to talk about what they would like to see more of, what they would like to improve and what the city should be like in the future. There are currently two main Team 21 groups, with between 20-30 young people in each group from all across the city. At present, the young people have been developing their own ideas for activities and events; they will be planning and organising these, preparing budgets and presentations, and then apply for the Key Fund in order to fund their events.

Team 21 are also working with Northumbria University’s Geography department on a project called ‘Mapping the City’. They have been creating maps of their ideal city, erasing parts of Sunderland which they do not like and replacing them with things they think they need or will want in the future. This is true empowerment in action for young people in Sunderland; being able to articulate what kind of city they would like to live and work in in the future.

Team 21 underway as part of Sunderland 2021 bid for City of Culture

The Hays Travel Foundation has donated £4505.46 to Chestnut Tree House Hospice.

This children's charity provides hospice care services and community support for children and young people with progressive life-shortening conditions throughout East and West Sussex, Brighton and Hove, and South East Hampshire.

Our donation will help to fund the outward bound days they run for children over the age of 12 who visit the hospice. The charity is looking to hold two of these events with our donation; each will have activities on offer for the children to enjoy including zip wires, accessible archery and abseiling. The days will be fully accessible and attentive experienced staff will be on hand to help with adapting activities for young people with complex needs.

These types of challenge days out are extremely popular – feedback from a previous trip to Hindleap Warren in 2015 was very positive, with the young people really enjoying time with their peers.

Hays Travel Foundation Fund Days Out for Chestnut Tree House

The Hays Travel Wareham branch recently ran a coach trip to Bath for their customers in aid of the Lexi May Trust.

The charity supports children in Dorset with terminal illness and life limiting conditions by organising memorable and fun special days out. There were games and raffles on board the coach trip which raised £768. The Hays Travel Foundation has matched this donation and the branch donated a total of £1,536 to the charity.

Lexi May Trust Receive Matched Funds

The Hays Travel Foundation recently donated a grant of £1,000 to the Friends of Bolney C.E.P School.

This donation will help them to resurface the school playground which is currently used at playtimes, for sports clubs, during lessons and for special events at the school. Currently, it is uneven, sloping, potholed and sharp; this can often cause accidents and is hazardous to the children. The Foundation went to visit the school to see the playground and heard from the school council how they think a new playground will help the school. The work is due to take place in October and our donation will make the playground a safer place.

Hays Travel Foundation Visit Friends of Bolney C.E.P School

The Hays Travel Foundation recently donated £2000 to York Mind, who provides high quality mental health services. This grant was used for their work with children and allowed them to become involved in the Young Roots Theatre Company. The charity worked in partner with the Six Lips Theatre in order to help young people, who struggle with mental health issues, to enjoy performing arts. The young people involved became a part of the Young Roots Theatre Company where they regularly contributed in producing theatre shows. During the project, the process was designed to ensure that performers had a say in everything that was created, and York Mind provided one to one mentorship to all participants for mental health support and guidance throughout.

Hays Travel Foundation Fund York Mind Youth Theatre Project

The Hays Travel foundation has recently donated a grant of £6,000 to Alex’s Angels Foundation. The registered charity was founded by cancer survivor Alexandra Turner who works as a Travel Consultant in our Hays Travel Jarrow branch. She was diagnosed with Larangeal cancer, a rare form of cancer, at the age of 15.

Alex’s Angels Foundation supports children, young people and their families, in the North East and Cumbria, who have been diagnosed with cancer. The charity provides grants for utility bills, hospital travel costs, clothing vouchers, requests for treat days and special events, and helps towards relieving the financial burden for parents. The charity can also provide a crisis grant, which is up to the value of £1,000.

Our £6,000 grant will give Alex’s Angels Foundation the opportunity to provide aid for an extra family a month with general grants.

Last year, Hays Travel’s Jarrow branch also sponsored Alex £150 to take part in the Boxing Day Dip on South Shields beach for Alex’s Angels Foundation and the Hays Travel Foundation matched the branch sponsorship.

Hays Travel Foundation donate grant to Alex’s Angels Foundation

In April the Hays Travel Foundation donated a grant of £3,000 to the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. This donation will aid the bursaries that the school offers to students coming from Tyne and Wear. There are currently only 15 students from Tyne and Wear studying in the school, and our donation aims to encourage underprivileged young people from this region to continue on to higher education. The school offers acting, design and production courses as well as specialist training in puppetry, design and performance, and scenography. The bursary will ensure that talented individuals can attend the school regardless of their household income.

Grand Hotel Royal

Hays Travel Winchester branch hosted a charity quiz night in March which raised £453.70 in aid of Naomi House & Jacksplace children’s charity. The Hays Travel Foundation matched the funds raised in their meeting in April which has brought the total donated to Naomi House and Jacksplace to a massive £907.40! Naomi House & Jacksplace provide expert hospice care to children and young people with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses, and their extended families across the South of England. Hays Travel Winchester were delighted with the response that the quiz night received and they, alongside other Hays Travel branches, are holding another fundraiser in July 2017 – I’m a Travel Agent Get Me Out of Here - in aid of the charity. You can sponsor the branch in-store or click here:


The Hays Travel Foundation recently donated £5,000 to support fundraising by Ivybridge based charity, Friends of the Erme Primary School. The funds are set to go towards the creation of a free of charge, community sports space in Victoria Public Park in Ivybridge. This will enable pupils of Erme Primary to play at all times of the year as the school were seeking funding to provide the hard surfacing needed to build a safe to use playground. The project will allow the replacement of the current tarmac surface, along with the placement of play markings and safe, accessible in most weather conditions facilities and goals for football, netball and basketball. Kay Winstone, Chair of Friends of the Erme Primary School, said: "We are so excited with such a large donation from Hays Travel and are pushing hard to allow works to start soon. We cannot thank Hays Travel enough for their engagement with every step of the project supporting us along the way.”

Friends of Erme

The Hays Travel Foundation has recently donated a grant to the Avison Ensemble for a project in the North East of England. This project gave almost 2,000 children and staff in schools in the Bishop Auckland area the chance to take part in music workshops led by the Avison Ensemble’s musicians in a programme called “The Wandering Minstrels". Children aged 4 to 11 have learnt about instruments, legends, songs and dance in an exciting musical tour of the North East's cultural history. The Avison Ensemble Young Musicians’ Awards 2017 has promoted talented youngsters from all around the North East region and given them a rare opportunity to perform on stage to live audiences. The Avison Ensemble rounds off the project with a performance in Bishop Auckland Town Hall in Autumn 2017.

Back on Track

Life Education Wessex provides age appropriate and inspirational health and wellbeing education programmes to 50,000 children every year across Wessex. Through their annual visit to the Life Education mobile classrooms or ‘Life Buses’ as the children prefer to call them, children progressively acquire the knowledge, skills and self-confidence to form positive attitudes, avoid risky behaviours and make healthy choices for themselves in life, creating a strong foundation for the future. Children learn about the wonders of their bodies, how it works and what they need to do to look after it. Topics include healthy eating and obesity, the importance of exercise, sleep and personal hygiene.

Hays Travel Blandford branch recently held a mystery coach trip and raised £412 for Life Education Wessex. The Hays Travel Foundation matched the donation and the charity received a total of £824! The money was put towards the cost of a laptop for the charity. The Hays Travel Foundation donated a further £2000 to the charity in support of the towing costs of the charity’s mobile classroom. The mobile classroom helps Life Education deliver their health, wellbeing and drug prevention project to 30,000 children and young people across Dorset.

Back on Track

Hays Travel Foundation have awarded funding to The Customs House to deliver a youth theatre programme at Jarrow School; young people will have the opportunity to perform at The Customs House, work with a writer and theatre professionals, and to gain new skills in Drama which will support them to achieve qualifications at Level 1 and 2 through the Arts Award.

Back on Track

The Foundation has sponsored a new scheme from the Foundation of Light: Back on Track.

Back on Track aims to engage young people 14-19 years old classed as pre-NEET or NEET (not in education, employment or training), who have become disillusioned with education or who are unemployed. It comprises of a range of non-accredited and accredited activities to increase self-esteem, raise aspirations, improve life and employment skills, matching individual learners’ ambitions and needs. The project consists of three programmes designed to offer a progression pathway towards re-engagement in education, training or employment. Learners are given the opportunity to develop essential work and life skills through carrying out volunteering, work experience and understanding of financial management.

Back on Track

Alex, a team member from Hays Travel Jarrow has taken part in a Boxing Day dip in aid of the charity she founded: Alex’s Angels. The branch sponsored Alex £150 to take part in the dip and the Hays Travel Foundation matched the sponsorship to donate a total of £300 to the charity!

Alex’s Angels Foundation supports children, young people, and their families who have had a cancer diagnosis. The charity provides grants for utility bills, hospital travel costs, clothing vouchers, requests for treat days and special events, and help towards relieving the financial burden for parents.

Alex's Angels

The Hays Travel Foundation has further supported Challengers with a grant of £9,838! The money will be used to support the Eastleigh Youth scheme, enabling disabled young people, aged 13-18, to take part in a range of fun and exciting activities that they are frequently excluded from by mainstream providers. Activities might include a trip to a theme park, a visit from a mobile farm or a drumming workshop!

This is a vital project supporting disabled young people to have fun, make friends and reduce the risk of social isolation and loneliness. Furthermore, it will also give their parents and carers an essential short break from their caring responsibilities. The Youth scheme delivers services throughout the year on Saturdays and during the Easter and Summer holidays.

The Hays Travel Foundation has donated a grand total of £5000 to the Birmingham Royal Ballet in aid of their learning and outreach activities in Sunderland. The donation was made in August 2016 and this allowed for many creative workshops to run from October through to March this year. Some of the workshops allowed young children from deprived areas access into the world of ballet, and a total of 122 under 16’s took part.

The projects ran alongside two performances, the Tempest and Cinderella, and young people could get involved with face painting, make-up demonstrations, trying on costumes, art-making, costume displays, and watching the stage being set for the subsequent matinée. The workshops were a success; they aimed to raise confidence levels, teamwork skills and creativity of these children who may not have had an opportunity similar to this otherwise.

Birmingham Royal Ballet

The Hays Travel Foundation recently donated £750 to the Douglas Bader Foundation, a charity which supports people affected by limb loss and other physical disabilities. The money donated went towards the Bader Braves section of the charity which focuses primarily on supporting children with limb loss, as well as benefiting their families and carers. Bader Braves organise adventure days and weekends, and the money donated by the Hays Travel Foundation was used for an activity weekend for a group of disabled children in Northumberland. During the day, they enjoyed outdoor activities including archery, laser clay shooting, rock climbing, abseiling, and zip wire. The Douglas Bader Foundation also offers affected people of all ages the opportunity to make friends, get fit and gain confidence through sport, and the charity provides financial grants for practical support.

Douglas Bader Foundation

Hays Travel’s Sherborne branch took part in a sponsored sky dive in aid of The Rendezvous charity. They raised over £1,000 which the Hays Travel Foundation then agreed to match, meaning we donated a total of £2,095 to the charity.

The Rendezvous provide a drop-in centre for young people aged 14 – 25, giving advice and help with issues including jobs, housing, health and relationships. They also support young people to gain qualifications, new skills and find volunteering opportunities in the local community.

Hays & Bath Travel

The Hays Travel Foundation donated £3,000 to Armonico Consort in November 2016. This money will go towards supporting the Choir Creation programme that the charity runs in the academic year 2016-17. The programme will provide 3,240 children in the West Midlands, Leamington Spa, London, Dorset and Cambridge with the opportunity to participate in meaningful music and performing arts experiences.

These include intensive, specialised choral workshops in up to 27 schools. Each school will have five workshops as well as five teacher mentoring sessions. Children will also get the chance to be part of a ‘once in a lifetime’ performance at a selection of major venues, including the Royal Albert Hall

AC Academy

The Hays Travel Foundation has donated £12,000 to Molly Olly's Wishes charity. This donation will provide children with life-limiting or terminal illnesses with a second 48-page Olly the Brave book. Olly the Brave is a therapeutic toy lion with a detachable mane and a hickman line.

The second book will deal with the side effects of chemotherapy such as hair loss, tiredness, mouth sores, and the anger and frustration that is often felt. These are donated to hospitals and individuals around the UK.

Molly Ollys