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Agony for gap year students as charity collapses

Gap year students face losing THOUSANDS of pounds as charity that has sent generations of volunteers – including Prince William – overseas suddenly collapses

  •  Raleigh International ran into financial difficulties and closed on Thursday
  • Teenage Duke and Duchess of Cambridge participated in projects by the charity
  •  They cannot yet guarantee they can pay back volunteers fundraising money
  • Covid travel restrictions and lack of government aid left the charity struggling
  • Carter Backer Winter are helping handle international affairs and recover money

Gap year students could lose thousands of pounds after a charity collapsed on Thursday.

Raleigh International, a charity used by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, ran into financial difficulties and closed days after it took money raised to fund trips abroad.

 Charity administrators blamed travel restrictions during the Covid pandemic as well as cuts in government spending on foreign aid which made fundraising difficult.

Days before the charity closed many prospective volunteers paid thousands of pounds they had fundraised for their trips.

They received no warning the organisation was facing trouble as it is now in voluntary liquidation.

Raleigh International has met with a financial services firm and is taking legal advice over the situation, but cannot yet guarantee all the money will be returned.

The charities 47 staff have lost their jobs and future trips have been cancelled, even for volunteers who have already paid thousands to go.


A gap year charity that sent Wills and Kate to work on projects in Chile in their teens has collapsed. Raleigh International said its finances were hit hard by the pandemic and travel rules

As teenagers The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took part in projects run by Raleigh International in Chile, missing eachother by weeks.

Rosie Giesler, 20, from west London, had given £3,800 she raised for a rainforest conservation trip to Costa Rica. ‘It came as a complete shock when I heard about the collapse.

‘It was going to be one of the high- lights of my year’ she said. 

The charity sent tens of thousands of young volunteers on ‘life-changing’ opportunities to work abroad on ten-week health, education, and construction projects in some of the poorest communities around the world since they were founded in 1978. 

Carter Backer Winter, the firm appointed to handle Raleigh International’s affairs, said: ‘The charity is mindful that volunteers who have paid funds will be concerned about the status of these funds and legal advice is being sought in this regard.’

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