Medway schools set to sail into free visits to The Historic Dockyard Chatham

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust is proud to announce a new scheme that will enable free school visits to The Historic Dockyard Chatham for up to 900 students from high pupil premium schools in Medway. This has been made possible through the generosity of £14,213 from The Charles Burnett III Memorial Fund, administered by Kent Community Foundation.


The “Dockyard Discoverers” programme will provide underprivileged children and young people in Medway an opportunity to access the Historic Dockyard’s award-winning Learning Programmes. Pupils will be treated to a fun and interactive learning experience, where the principles of STEM are explored, explained and linked to the national curriculum.


The Historic Dockyard Chatham was the height of innovation and engineering for over 400 years. Young learners will be inspired by the rich, authentic and varied learning environment. Activity sessions will be tailored to the needs of each school group and its learning needs – with the Historic Dockyard and its Learning team providing the perfect educational setting outside of the classroom.


The Historic Dockyard’s Learning Programme has recently received accolade from the Sandford Award, giving national recognition to the quality of the learning provision on offer.

Stephen Billington, Head of Lifelong Learning, Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust said: “At Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust we actively listen to the needs and challenges of local schools and we are committed to supporting their educational goals. High Pupil Premium schools are often subjected to financial constraints that inhibit school visits to local attractions, which in turn reduces opportunities for beyond the classroom learning. The Dockyard Discoverers programme will provide an enriching STEM learning experience that goes beyond the core curriculum.”

Natalie Smith, Director of Grants and Impact and Deputy Chief Executive, Kent Community Foundation said: “We are incredibly pleased that the grant awarded through Kent Community Foundation from the Charles Burnett III Memorial Fund is helping to engage young people who may otherwise miss out on such opportunities. Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust is particularly interested in heritage and engaging young people in science and technology, so this proposal was the perfect match.”




Hannane Ford, Development Manager, Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust said: “We are incredibly grateful to The Charles Burnett III Memorial Fund and Kent Community Foundation for the £14,213 grant that is set to positively impact 900 students across Medway. Engaging students in hands-on STEM sessions outside the classroom can be extremely impactful, fostering curiosity and inspiring future interest in the fields of Science and Technology. The Dockyard Discoverers programme has the potential to make a significant difference in the lives of students who might not otherwise visit the Historic Dockyard’s valuable educational resource. At Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust we are committed to breaking down barriers to STEM education and outdoor learning by working in partnership with teachers and schools.”


To contact Kent Community Foundation about funding for charities and community groups call 01303 814500, email or visit

Registration is now open for schools

Medway schools can register interest in the Dockyard Discoverers Programme via emailing the Learning Team at



The Dockyard Discoverers Programme is open to Medway Infant, Primary and Secondary Schools whose number of Free School Meal students is above the Medway average based on the latest published Ever 6 Free School Meals data.


Notes to Editors

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust is a preservation and education charity committed to delivering excellence in learning and supporting the development of children and young people.

Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust delivers award winning learning experiences like no other, with its range of educational tours and learning sessions for all ages.


About Chatham Historic Dockyard Trust

The Historic Dockyard Chatham has over 100 buildings and structures, including 47 Scheduled Ancient Monuments. The site is in the stewardship of the independent charity, Chatham Historic Dockyard

Trust (No. 292101).


Kent Community Foundation funding priorities –

  1. Children, Young People & Families
    Supporting disadvantaged children and young people’s physical and mental health, encouraging positive choices and staying safe.
  2. Vulnerable Adults
    Helping those who may need extra care dealing with challenging issues or those at risk of social exclusion or discrimination.
    3. Elderly and Isolated
    Enabling elderly adults to stay well, healthy, independent and free from social isolation.
    4. Employability, Skills & Enterprise
    Creating opportunities to develop skills and confidence and have a positive impact in areas and groups of people with high unemployment.
    5. Environment
    Encouraging community action to improve and protect local spaces with support sustainable ways of living.


About Kent Community Foundation

Experienced grant-maker Kent Community Foundation is the organisation behind the organisations and has been finding, funding, and supporting some of the smallest voluntary groups in the county for over twenty three years. In this time, it has distributed almost £55 million to support thousands of small charities and deserving causes where a modest sum of money can make a significant impact.

Kent Community Foundation is part of a UK wide accredited network of forty-seven Community Foundations who are committed to improving the lives of local people and communities, particularly the most vulnerable, isolated, and disadvantaged by matching those who want to help, with those who need the help.

Responsible for more than ninety philanthropic funds, Kent Community Foundation is unrivalled in its knowledge of local causes and assists individuals, families, and businesses who want to help, to establish and administer their own charitable funds.