1978 - Operation Drake
Colonel John Blashford-Snell and HRH Prince Charles launched Operation Drake, running youth projects from ships circumnavigating the globe, to develop self-confidence and leadership through adventure, scientific exploration and community service. In 2 years 414 young people took part in the round the world voyage, working on land-based projects in 16 different countries.

1984 - Operation Raleigh
Following the success of Operation Drake, the much more ambitious Operation Raleigh was created. This started as a 4 year project running from 1984 -1988 involving 4,000 volunteers and almost 1,600 staff. The volunteers and staff sailed on the renovated Sir Walter Raleigh ship and Zebu ship as well as taking part in land based expeditions. Its success saw it continue permanently, with an emphasis on land-based expeditions.

1992 - Raleigh International
Operation Raleigh became Raleigh International in 1992, reflecting the number of volunteers from across the globe. We widened the diversity of volunteers by raising the relevance and quality of our overseas expeditions and raising issues of global awareness.

Raleigh International today
Over 38,000 people have taken an expedition with us and we continue to work with youth agencies and membership organisations to inspire people from all walks of life to be all they can be.

Find out more about our achievements in our first 25 years by downloading our 25th anniversary brochure