During 2021, UKSA funded 3,275 young people on water-based adventures, a record for the charity. This includes 1,400 Year 6 students from the Isle of Wight who took part in its Test the Water programme. These are just two of the key findings from UKSA’s new ‘Did you know?’ campaign, which launched this month. In the next 12 months, UKSA will welcome over 11,000 beneficiaries and will continue to provide funding support to the most deserving young people to ensure costs do not form a barrier to experiencing outdoor water-based activities.
UKSA‘s Youth and Mental Health Ambassador Dee Caffari recently shared her top five mental wellness tips. Dee has not been a stranger to challenges both mentally and physically and her top tips to help deal with mental wellness and resilience can be applied by everyone and all ages. Ben Willows, UKSA CEO comments “This year’s theme explored the experience of loneliness, its effect on our mental health and how we can all play a part in reducing loneliness in our communities. It is a key driver of poor mental health and UKSA’s programmes of activities and maritime training certainly tackle this for youngsters with the amount of teamwork involved, which ultimately then builds confidence and resilience.”
UKSA has been awarded a maritime grant from the TK Foundation worth over £600,000. The funding will enable UKSA to welcome 77 teenagers onto its Sea Change Foundation Programme each year. This week-long residential course gives them an introduction to the water and informs them how to progress into the maritime industry. Alongside this, the grant will increase the percentage of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds who can access the UKSA Superyacht Cadetship.
UKSA has announced British yachtswoman Dee Caffari MBE as its Youth and Mental Health Ambassador in a newly created role. Dee comments “I hope that by supporting the UKSA in this role I will be able to facilitate confidence in our young people to ensure our future generations can thrive. Being out in the elements facing the forces of Mother Nature, you soon realise that everyone is equal. She doesn’t care about your age, race, religion or socio-economic background. Agile thinking, adaptability, teamwork and collaboration are all required, and these are all skills that are transferable into everyday life.”
In celebration of National Apprenticeship Week earlier this month, UKSA is sharing 20-year-old Josh Coates’ experience of its Level 3 Workboat Crew Member Apprenticeship for which it is currently recruiting. Josh comments: “On-the-job training is a real positive of the William Shipping apprenticeship. It would be a dream to eventually captain a vessel and have my own deckhands whilst leading the team on jobs”. UKSA senior education coordinator, Philip Hoar, said: “This apprenticeship is a fantastic opportunity for an individual looking for a career in the fast-growing maritime workboat industry”. Read more.
UKSA has reported a 150% increase in the number of women undertaking their Superyacht Cadetship from 2020 – 2021 in a trend that sees a positive shift towards increased diversity in the superyacht sector. Available to those aged between 18 – 25, and now accepting applicants for its September 2022 intake, the structured four-year programme is designed to train the future officers of the superyacht industry. Cadets also have the opportunity to undertake a Foundation Degree in Operational Yacht Science during phase 1 and 3 of the programme – providing additional careers within the industry.
UKSA has launched a new video which highlights the rich and varied experiences on offer for children and young people at its Cowes campus on the Isle of Wight. The video aims to inspire and attract donations to enable more children and young people from across the UK, who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford it, to benefit from their watersports activities programmes and educational initiatives. These enable them to build confidence, broaden their horizons and develop life skills. The charity will help a further 45,000 beneficiaries by 2025.
Polly’s Challenge is a UKSA funded programme for Island children aged 10 – 14 years during the school holidays. Five action packed days help build confidence and a sense of adventure, whilst enabling them to have fun, be adventurous and learn new skills through participation in outdoor activities. Since the launch of the programme in the summer of 2018, 140 Isle of Wight children have taken part in Polly’s Challenge and have had a summer of adventure learning at UKSA.
A cross between windsurfing and snowboarding, Wingsurfing is a new watersport that’s quickly taking flight and UKSA is offering one of the first accredited courses dedicated to it. Unlike windsurfing, the wing isn’t attached to the board, but it is still controlled by the rider’s hands whilst standing. Wingsurfing provides the perfect platform to progress to the more advanced wingfoiling which has seen an explosion globally in the past year and has been confirmed for inclusion at the Paris 2024 Olympics.