Annual Reporting

Our Story in 2021

 

1. INTRODUCTION & WELCOME


The Trustees present their Annual Report for the Robertson Outdoor Bursary for the year ended 31 December 2021.
In our eighth year of operations R.O.B. continued to adapt to the impact that the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic had on our operations and the impact on our fundraising capacity and the lives of the people in Tanzania that we aim to support.
Thanks to our partnership with the Exodus Travels Foundation to encourage women to become qualified guides on Kilimanjaro, we were able to continue our Mountain Lioness Project; tracking the progress of our 2020 awardees and recruiting and training our second
cohort. We look forward to the final year of this project in 2022.


In addition to our ‘Mountain Lionesses’ we were also delighted to support four men through their guide licence training.


We were excited to welcome a new volunteer to the team, Anna Delcour, as our ‘Awardee Liaison Officer’. She will be working closely with the College of African Wildlife Management on awardee selection and recruitment and will be responsible for tracking the progress of awardees once they start working on the mountain as qualified guides.


With the easing of COVID-19 restrictions we were once again able to hold our annual Christmas fundraising event at Namaste Sport in Chamonix, France. We thank all its supporters who gave so generously with prizes and supporting the event. We also thank our
regular donors for their continued support, as their constant commitment to what we do really makes a big difference to our awardees in Tanzania.


We have maintained strong relationships with our corporate sponsors, employers, and particularly with our Tanzanian partners to understand the continued impact of COVID-19 on their lives. We are delighted to welcome a new employer partner, the UK owned, Tanzanian run, ‘Kilimanjaro Experts’.


Looking forward we are encouraged with the easing of the pandemic restrictions and hope that tourism will continue to return and our awardees will once again be able to find work. As soon as able we plan to return to Tanzania to inform our future strategic planning and where we should focus our future.


Our journey continues and we will keep on adapting to the world situation and obtain the maximum benefit from every penny people donate to us.


We thank all who are walking this journey with us.


Yvonne Robertson
Chair and founder of Robertson Outdoor Bursary
‘As long as there is a purpose there is no failure’  (Swahili proverb)


2. ACTIVITIES AND ACHIEVEMENTS
In 2021 we have continued to adapt our focus and working to the world COVID-19 situation.
Our key activities have been:
1) The continuation of our partnership with the Exodus Travels Foundation and our Mountain Lioness Project, training eight more women in October 2021.
2) The additional training of four men funded by ROB’s regular donors.
3) The creation of a new volunteer post in the ROB team of Awardee Liaison Officer and appointing Anna Delcour to this post.
4) The announcement of a new employer partnership with Kilimanjaro Experts, a UK owned and Tanzanian run travel company, who have been nominating women from their team for Lioness scholarships with a commitment to employ them as guides and, more importantly, support their ongoing development.
5) The Annual Christmas fundraising event.


2.1 Key Milestones
This year of operation was marked by the following key milestones:
January – March
• Continuation of partnership working with the Exodus Travels Foundation
April
• Creation of, and the appointment to, the ‘Awardees Liaison Officer’ position
June - July
• Development of new employer partnership with Kilimanjaro Experts
August – September
• Advertising, selection and recruitment of eight women for Mountain Lioness scholarships and four men for Guide Training scholarships
October
• Awardees commence guide licence training at the College of African Wildlife
Management
November
• Replace Virgin Money Giving for money collection services with the Charities Aid Foundation
December
• Annual Christmas Fundraiser in Partnership with Namaste Sport, Argentière, Chamonix, France
2.2 Kit Collections
Due to the effect of the pandemic on tourism our kit collection and distribution programmes remained suspended. We have maintained contact and closely monitored the situation with our partners at the Lake District National Park and the Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project.  We will look to restart this when required.
2.3 Fund Raising
This year we were delighted to welcome back the return of our annual fundraising event in partnership with Namaste Sport. The income was banked in 2022 and will be included in next year’s accounts. We continue to receive income from Amazon Smile donations and keep the support of our regular donors through our ‘Friends of ROB’ scheme.

• ROB Christmas fundraiser raised £550 which will be included in the 2022 accounts

• We continue to receive income from Amazon Smile donations which this year generated £69

• We also continue to receive regular income from the ‘Friends of R.O.B.’ though increasing their number remains an annual focus.


3. AWARDS & AWARDEES


2021 Awards
3.1 Guide Training Scholarships
At the beginning of the year we committed to fund 14 places (four men and ten women) through their guide licence training at the College of African Wildlife Management. We worked in partnership with the college to recruit and select the awardees, though we were
only able to recruit eight women who met our selection criteria. We have agreed with the Exodus Travels Foundation that the funding for the two unused places can be rolled over into 2022. We have been tracking progress through their training and waiting for tourism to return to Tanzania to see them begin working as guides on the mountain.


4. CORPORATE AND OTHER PARTNERS


Our partnership with the Exodus Travels Foundation to fund our Mountain Lioness project has been our key focus and we look forward to its final year in 2022.
We were delighted to announce a new employer partnership with the UK owned and Tanzanian run ‘Kilimanjaro Experts’ travel company. They have committed to helping us find the right awardees, giving them employment and supporting their continuing development.
In this eighth year of operations, our relationships with our Tanzanian partners (The College of African Wildlife Management and Kilimanjaro Porters Assistance Project) and local managers and guides are now well established and they continue to be an indispensable source of support and advice for us on how our donors’ money can be most wisely spent.


5. FINANCES


During the year we received total fundraising contributions and donations of £5,505 (inclusive of Gift Aid).
We awarded grants totalling £3,286 to fund 12 places on guide licence training scholarships at the College of African Wildlife Management.
We pledge that the money donated to us will be spent on our educational awards and any administrative expenses are kept to an absolute minimum. Of our total costs, £3,286 was spent on grants, £102 on money collection fees and £258 on website and e-mail hosting.


6. LOOKING FORWARD


The key challenge for us continues to be how to adapt our operations to the world’s situation post COVID-19 and the effect this has had on our ability to fundraise and for our awardees to study and find work. Tracking the progress of our awardees and identifying our next cohort
for guide training will be our top priority in 2022 with our newly appointed Awardee Liaison Officer leading this important work.


Our core team is well established but we are aware and grateful for their commitment and for the time and energy they devote to volunteering to work with us. We will continue to review our ways of working and seek new volunteers to support us with their unique strengths and find ways to support our volunteers who so generously gift us their time.


Continuing to raise our profile via our website, social media presence and our newsletters to help us to continue build on new partnerships and keep our donors, supporters and awardees up-to-date with the impact of our work.


We hope to be able to continue to grow and review how we fundraise to finance our work in the future.


Maintaining our relationships with our Tanzanian partners will be critical to ensure that we spend the money our donors have so generously given most effectively and we plan to visit Tanzania once travel restrictions lift to meet with our awardees and Tanzanian stakeholders as we set out our future partnership working.


In the year ahead we will:

 

• Recruit our next cohort of awardees to our Guide Training and Mountain Lioness Scholarships

• Track the progress of awardees completing their guide licence training, sending reports to our partner the Exodus Travels Foundation on the progress of the Mountain Lionesses
• Maintain a web and social media presence
• Visit Tanzania to build relationships and grow new partnerships to help us understand how we can best support past, present and future awardees
• Monitor and report income raised from our donors and Amazon Smile donations
• Explore new opportunities for fundraising


We look forward to a successful ninth year of operations for our charity

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