Funding information

The following information is provided in support of funding applications:

Project: Shrewsbury & Oswestry Crucial Crew 2024

Charity Number 1125144
How many are on the Management Committee – 9 unpaid trustee/volunteers
How  long has the organisation existed – 29 years
Paid staff …. Nil          Unpaid part-time volunteers …. 100+

Purpose of the organisation:

“The overall purpose is to provide young people living in the Shrewsbury and Oswestry area of Shropshire with essential life skills, safety and social awareness training in order to help them advance in life by developing their skills, capacities and capabilities to enable them to participate in society as independent, mature and responsible individuals.”

Project description

Crucial Crew will take place from 3 – 14 June 2024 at Nescliff Military Training Centre. The main beneficiaries are 1500 eleven-year-old children who would not otherwise gain essential life skills experience and knowledge, other than by accident. The programme is run by trustees and 100 volunteers most of whom have expressed a wish that they had had valuable life skills training when they were eleven years old. The professional agencies; Police, Fire, Coastguard, RNLI, Farmers, School Nurses, Western Power, Veolia, Dog Warden and many others, benefit as Crucial Crew provides them with a most cost-effective vehicle to provide roadshows for up to 1500 children from 50 schools in Shropshire. Crucial Crew achieves all of their up to the minute objectives in the most cost-effective manner. The local communities and their residents benefit from the knowledge that the children bring back to their homes.

What difference does the charity make to their lives?

Crucial Crew saves lives. If Crucial Crew helps to save the life of just one child or provides at least one child with the necessary information to make a crucial decision to save someone else’s life, then the whole process will have been worthwhile. The success of Crucial Crew is down to delivering life skills messages in conjunction with the appropriate agencies, targeting a time when children are not only most vulnerable but also most receptive to new crucial safety information. In 2006 a young man from Shrewsbury lost his father at sea in a rubber dingy. The young man had been to Crucial Crew only two days before and whilst he could not dissuade the others, he saved his own life and that of his brother having made a crucial decision not to go out in the dingy. The coastguard in attendance at Borth that day was the same man who gave the briefing at Nescliffe only 2 days before. More recently we have read about the death of Sam Abel, 14 years of age, who in Jan 2017 jumped off a multi-storey car park roof in Worcester following bullying on Snapchat. Prior to that, we heard of 14-year-old Hannah Smith from Lutterworth and Daniel Perry, a 17-year-old from Fife who sadly lost their lives following Cyber Bullying.  A scenario on Bullying continues to be an important part of our planned event. The safety aims of the programme are tailored annually by the agencies involved. Over the last two years scenarios have been run by the Police who deliver important safety messages including Cyber Bullying and Internet Safety. This is in addition to long-standing scenarios on alcohol and drug abuse. In August 2015 the Shropshire Star reported that 329 under 18-year-olds had been treated by Shropshire’s two main hospitals, some were as young as eleven. An alcohol awareness scenario, delivered by professionals, continues to be an important feature of Crucial Crew. The Coastguard/RNLI, Shropshire Fire and Rescue, Western Power, are further examples of the agencies whose messages our Crucial Crew event helps to deliver. In 2018 we introduced the RNLI’s water safety scenario in support of their river safety scenario in Shrewsbury. Crucial Crew does not discriminate.  Crucial Crew embraces all abilities with Severndale special school being amongst our regular supporters.  Pairs of children are mixed on arrival, with children of different schools meeting and socialising with others of all backgrounds.  In life, the children are told that they may face situations where they are not in a group with their best friends and may be called upon to help others. This valuable experience would not present itself if the professional agencies took their messages to individual schools. After recent events, we strongly believe that Crucial Crew helps youngsters to relax in the company of uniformed professionals to communicate with and respect them and vice versa.

Recent VIP visitors have included the Rotary District Governor,  Cllr Ian Nellins. the Deputy Leader of Shropshire Council and portfolio holder for Waste and Recycling, Rachel Robinson – Director of Public Health, Lord Lt of Shropshire Anna Turner, the Local Policing Commander, the Chief Fire Offier,  the Mayors of Shrewsbury & Oswestry, local MP Helen Morgan, the Asst Police and Crime Commissioner and other specialists, who have closely scrutinised, commended and endorsed the work of Crucial Crew.

Why do we need grant funding and donations?

We need your assistance to help fund the two-week event, which takes place on the first two working weeks in June at Nescliffe Army Barracks. Up to 1500 children benefit each year, children who lack the opportunity to develop their life skills in any other medium. The agencies give freely of their time, but there is still a need to raise a number of costs including that of transporting 150 children a day for ten days from up to 50 primary schools. The Police & Crime Commissioner continues to provide funding of up to 40% of the annual running costs, funds previously regularly provided as part of the strong support received from Shropshire Council, West Mercia Police and Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service. The remainder comes from fundraising and other grant providers. Some company sponsors also send their staff along as volunteer chaperones for a day, or more if they choose.  This is often seen as part of their continuing professional development.

Beneficiary and community involvement.

Shrewsbury and Oswestry Crucial Crew is successful because it meets the needs of people in Shropshire, all the professional agencies and up to 1500 children at up to 50 schools. Over 100 unpaid volunteers, many of them retired professionals give freely of their time on an annual basis year after year. The volunteers come from the same communities as the participating children and together with families and other members of their community they witness the very positive effect that Crucial Crew has on its children and communities. In 2023 we marked the Coronation of King Charles 111 at our event which was attended by the 34,000th child.  All the children attending received a coronation goodie bag and bookmark. In 1998 Joe Hart (England and Man City) attended as an eleven-year-old and now continues as our patron. Joe’s signed Crucial Crew & football shirts together with those of Dave Edwards (Shrewsbury, Wolves and Wales) who attended in 1997, are displayed at each event to motivate the youngsters attending.

Breakdown of costs:

Item                                                     £

Staff and volunteer costs                 Nil

Operational costs

  • Catering                                  3,750.00
  • Children’s Transport               3,500.00
  • Shiftys                                     1,000.00 (Specialist input into alcohol awareness c/o
    The Shropshire Youth Association)

Administration costs

  • Accommodation                    Nil (free)
  • Operating costs                     2,100.00
  • Administration                        1,000.00
  • Insurance                                  650.00


  • Children’s t-shirts                 4,500.00
  • Workbooks                             3,000.00
  •  Memorabilia                          2,000.00 

TOTAL Costs                                21,500.00


Cheques should be made payable to “Shrewsbury & Oswestry Crucial Crew”

BACs details will be provided on request.

Gift Aid is also available where appropriate.

For more information:

Contact …. Geof Proffitt,  Deputy Chairman / Trustee Fundraiser
on 01743 369198 or 07788 184255
or email …..

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