Developing innovative ways to tackle turbulent times
In the last few months and within the Government guidelines, we were delighted to be able to run several covid-safe day sails for a number of youth groups, including ex-pupils from St Michael’s School who explored the South Coast learning to sail and building life skills. We also introduced new Covid safety compliant initiatives including offering more day sails to the general public and local organisations, and promoting our vessels on Airbnb as overnight accommodation.
Unfortunately, the new national lockdown meant we had to stop all sailing activities and sustain a period of hibernation – once again impacting the limited resources of the charity.
Since March, we have been working tirelessly to get approval to fulfil our charitable mission through residential sailing. We have lobbied Government extensively to give us the green light to start overnight voyages again – you might have seen some of our recent news coverage in The Times and The Telegraph.
We have also invested in our own Covid testing system. We can now test voyagers on the jetty, embark in a sterilised boat, and set sail – covid-safe – for a week.
Only time will tell if we can get the message across to decision makers – but we believe we have the necessary safety measures in place to run our residential voyages once more. We will continue to lobby Government to make this point as we cannot ignore the severe impact the pandemic is having on the most disadvantaged young people in our society.
Knowing you are there is a great comfort to the young people waiting to sail again
The financial impact of this period of hibernation – now likely to be until spring 2021 – will be significant. However, we will continue to do everything we can to ensure we get through this.
We are incredibly grateful to all our loyal supporters who have already donated to our appeal. Without your support, things could be looking quite different. However – despite all our best efforts – we still need your help to reach calmer waters and beyond. Therefore, we must extend our appeal until we are able to return to sailing.
Your help is crucial for our work with young people and the future of the Trust. Because of your incredible support, and the work of the Tall Ships team in these extreme circumstances, we are still here and fighting, eight months into the pandemic.
Your wonderful generosity means that hundreds of young people will be supported for many years to come. Thank you.