My life before Tall ships was hugely different. I had to cope with being neglected by my birth mum, as well as having to face all the difficulties and changes of being in foster care and adopted twice. I am now settled into a loving and caring family, who I’ve been with for about eleven years and I am very well cared for and extremely happy.

I chose to go sailing with Tall Ships as I heard about it from someone who lives in my village and I love being out on the water. At the time, I was doing my Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award and we had to take part in a 5-day residential. I felt nervous and apprehensive on the first day of the voyage, as I was late arriving and everyone looked in my direction as I got onto the boat. I felt slightly unsure of myself, but as time went by, I started to feel more excited. I learnt how sailing boat works, how to check the engine is working properly, putting up sails, winching and how to sail a boat. I learnt how to work as a team on a boat, as a boat cannot sail itself.  I also learnt about all the knots neeeded for tying ropes and fenders on to the boat or mooring.

My outlook on life has changed a lot, because I am not as negative as I was before my first voyage. I always used to see the negatives in everything I did, but now I am a lot more positive, confident, and happier! My social skills have also hugely improved.

Because of my experience with Tall Ships, in 5 years’ time I see myself working as a childcare early year’s practitioner. I would love to work with young children and to change their lives potentially for the better. My early life experiences were completely devastating, and I would not want any child to go through similar situations to my own.  I also see myself becoming a watch assistant with Tall Ships and giving other young people a chance, I was given with the charity.

Watch Chelsea's Story here: