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Frequently asked questions

Help broaden young people’s horizons

What does it cost?

The cost per student for each expedition, including staff costs, currently ranges from £2,000 — £2,700 depending on the destination country and flight availability. Each student contributes £300 but can fundraise more.

Who are the students?

Young people from the lowest socio-economic group in the UK who are academically high-attaining. All students must have either just completed their GCSEs or the first year of A levels.

Who are the staff?

The charity is run by its founder, Olivia Hill, and the board of trustees. The expeditions are staffed by carefully-selected volunteers with adequate qualifications and experience of working with children. All staff are involved on a voluntary basis. 

Fully-qualified, in-country local guides are employed for both cultural excursions and the treks. 

If you are interested in getting involved, please get in touch.

Who are the mentors?

Mentors are individuals or corporate groups who are interested in providing support to young people at a critical stage in their development. No formal experience is required. All potential mentors are subject to appropriate checks and induction to safeguard the wellbeing of the Reachers.

If you are interested in getting involved, please get in touch.

How do I donate?

Please click here. If you would like to leave a legacy gift, please email us and someone will be in touch to discuss. We rely on donations and are grateful for any contribution you are able to give.

Can I become a corporate sponsor?

Yes. We’d love to hear from you. Please get in touch.

For donors:

Find out how you can support Operation Reach

What will the food be like?

It depends on the country! But expect to try many new things.

Do I need a visa?

The cost of any visas are covered by Operation Reach.

Do I need a passport?

You will need a passport which has at least six months remaining on it at the time of the expedition. If yours is due to expire, renew it at least six months before the expedition so that there is still time to apply for a visa.

What vaccinations will I need?

This will depend on the destination country. Details of all the medical requirements for the destination country will be provided at the second parent meeting in February (2022).

How much spending money will I need?

We recommend students save up enough money to be able to buy family and friends a few, small gifts. You may also want to supplement your local diet with more Western food! About £50 — £100 should cover it.

Will I get to choose to be in the same group as friends?

This depends on whether or not you want the expedition to count as the residential part of your Gold DofE. If you’re not part of Gold DofE, we will try to accommodate all such requests.

How many students are there on each expedition?

The number of students on an expedition varies between 7 and 14. The key is to find the right fit of students to create a team.

How fit do I need to be?

The physical challenge is not technically demanding: achievable by anyone of decent fitness and, in the case of India and Peru, with adequate time to acclimatise. All the routes are on established trekking paths. It would do you no harm to start taking regular exercise from now on though!

Would this count as my residential for Gold Duke of Edinburgh?

Yes it does.

For students:

Will you support my child to fundraise?

Yes. Your child will be given guidance as to how best to fundraise the sum of £300.

Will my child be able to contact home whilst on the expedition?

The Reachers are likely to have wifi at all times save for on the trek itself. If you have any concerns about your child during the expedition, you will be able to contact the Group Leader for the expedition or the Operation Reach team in the UK, at any time.

What happens if my child is ill on the trip?

Operation Reach is dedicated to Safety & Risk Management. Discover more here.

What is included?

Flights, visas, accommodation, all food, transportation, guided tours, camping kit.

OK, what is not included?

Personal travel items such as walking boots, rucksacks, waterproof jackets. In addition, Reachers need to ensure they have the necessary vaccinations for the destination-country, and provide their own toiletries including sunscreen and basic first aid items.

What if I can’t make payment?

Operation Reach will work with you, the family, and your child to find a way to ensure they can still become a Reacher.

For parents and carers:

There are two parent/carer meetings early in the build-up to the expeditions at which time you will receive much more detailed information about the expeditions. You will also have a chance to ask all the questions you may have.
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