Every sailing season, Sea Cadets offers young people a chance to go on an exhilarating adventure sailing around the coasts of the UK. The challenging and immersive environment of Sea Cadets' Offshore Voyages is a splendid way of getting young people to work as a team, communicate and take responsibility. The experience and the characteristics gained could last a lifetime and can prepare them for whatever challenges life throws at them. As income often decides what experiences a young person can have, life building adventures such a this can exclude the marginalised in our society. Thanks to the Whirlwind Charitable Trust, 35 young people from low-income backgrounds can take part in this amazing journey. An adventure that would leave a lifelong impression.
Ocean Youth Trust South offers sailing voyages as a personal development opportunity for young people aged 11-25 from the widest possible variety of backgrounds – many of them disadvantaged and vulnerable - to develop things like confidence, teamworking and resilience. Our vessel Prolific has a fire pump which doubles as a bilge pump, and is an essential item of safety equipment; but it is old and increasingly unreliable, and spare parts are often not available. Thanks to a donation from Whirlwind, we can buy and fit a new fire pump which will help ensure safe sailing for hundreds of young people for many years to come.
I wanted to start by thanking you for your generous contribution to fund swimming lessons for our students. The funding is already making a real difference.
To date, the first group have just completed their lessons, and they've made really great progress in the pool. During the initial lessons in February, it was clear that very few of the students could swim at all, and many found it distressing to be in the water. After just over 4 months, 100% of the students are totally comfortable in the water, and most are able to swim unaided. However, not only have they learnt to swim, but they've loved every minute of being in the pool. unlike here in the UK where attending a weekly swimming lesson might seem like a bit of a chore, in Ghana the kids relish being able to get in the water and have some fun while learning. It's a break from the norm, and a chance to participate in an activity that very few people get to do.
Disability doesn’t always mean inability. HCUK promotes inclusive sailing for all, rewarding everyone physically, mentally and socially, welcoming everyone to the wonderful world of sailing, encouraging disabled people to take on this challenge. Sailing has an enriching and positive impact on the many disabled people who enjoy the advantages and benefits of this stimulating sport. Many disabled sailors would like to take part in sailing events but are unable to do so, either because they don’t own a boat, or don’t have the means to transport a borrowed ‘club’ boat. With support from Whirlwind we have set up a fully-equipped Mobile Support Unit that we can take to events throughout the UK, to provide the essential resources to enjoy sailing.