My name is Andrew. The team at the Trust have asked me if I would be willing to share my story today, as it was support from people like you that helped to change my life. So, here we go…

Struggling with mainstream education, I dropped out of school when I was sixteen, with no qualifications and found myself unemployed for two whole years. I developed depression and anxiety and really felt like I would never be able to get going in life. Then I remembered an organisation that had been mentioned to me previously and a few weeks later, I was all booked on a voyage with Tall Ships Youth Trust.

To cut a long story short it was one of the best things I have ever done. The huge achievement of crossing an ocean on a sailing yacht quashed any feelings of inadequacy that were left inside me and ignited a sense of passion and determination within me.

Upon returning home I found my first job within two weeks. It was an entry level role at a restaurant, but I worked my way up to Manager within five months; the quickest promotion they had ever had! I continued to sail with Tall Ships, working my way up the ranks. I took great joy in helping other young people transform their lives.

I now have qualifications, a secure job and a steady salary - not bad for a drop out without a single GCSE! I have Tall Ships to thank for all of this - they have taken me all over the world, taught me skills I never knew I needed, and believed in me when nobody else did. It is now hard to think back to when I was eighteen - anxious, depressed and unsure about life - but I know that without Tall Ships, that would still be me today.

Sailing with the Trust has added so much value to my life and played such a huge part in giving me the skills and confidence to get where I am today, so thank you.

However, it’s not just me. There is a new generation of young people who need us now. And when these young people get the right support, and believe in themselves, they go on to lead fulfilled lives.

You can play a crucial role in that transformation.

Today, we are asking for your help. As an example, £300 can provide a bursary for a young person to experience the life changing adventures of sail training and give them hope of a brighter future – just like the Trust did for me all those years ago.

Any amount of money that you can spare will make a huge difference to the young people who need it most. Please could you help change a young person’s life by making a donation today?

Once again, I would like to offer my gratitude for the support that you and the Trust have given me to help me realise my full potential. I only hope that together, we can do the same for the hundreds of other young people who need us now.

Thank you for your kind donations.