The funds will directly contribute to our vital youth development work enabling even more young people to experience a life-changing voyage with Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT).
A huge thank you to Nick Bonham for hosting our live auction, our auction prize sponsors, generous supporters and guest speakers; Emma Bradshaw OBE, Jane O’Sullivan and young ambassadors, Riyan (15) and Ashfaq (15), from George Green’s School in Tower Hamlets.
Special thanks and well done to Riyan and Ashfaq for sharing their inspirational TSYT voyage experiences. Here’s an extract from each of their stories.
Riyan: “At first I wondered what did I get myself into? Because of my fear of being away from home, for the first time since Covid and of course, the possibility of drowning in the sea! (I can’t even swim!).
“But over time I conquered my fears because I fell in love with sailing. Especially steering the boat (it’s called helming)and working with other people in the crew. It was such a good way to create close friendships.
“And It was great visiting other ports and going ashore. Everything was thrilling and something I never thought I would experience. This is why I truly believe that every young person should experience something as amazing as I did, because don’t we all deserve to feel accomplished and overcome our fears?
“Thank you to Tall Ships Youth Trust for making me step out of my ordinary life into something really different and helping me learn about being brave.”
Ashfaq: “During lockdown it was hard to stay in touch with my friends and I didn’t get the chance to spend time with them. So, it was a lot of fun to be with a group of people my own age for a week and we had such fun!
“We learnt how to get along and how to coordinate our teamwork to get the maximum results. It felt so good to be in a really good team in a completely new and alien environment. On a boat, at sea!
“I feel very grateful that I had this experience. I don’t take it for granted as I know not many people get the chance to do something like this. I think lots more young people would really benefit from spending time on a Tall Ships Youth Trust voyage. It has made me feel much more adventurous in my life generally and more confident to say yes to different opportunities and possibilities, even like coming here and speaking to you tonight.”
Jane O’Sullivan, Enrichment Manager – Engagement at George Green’s School, added: “Tall Ships Youth Trust’s voyages are needed now more than ever.
“At school we know the immense benefit, to our students, of taking part in exciting, challenging, activities outside the confines of the curriculum, Away, from negative peer pressure, away from the day to day stresses of home life.
“We see the results of how these activities build confidence and resilience, boost self-esteem, develop courage, and motivation, and the all essential teamwork and leadership skills that are so very necessary for success.
“A Tall Ships’ voyage offers young people ALL of this and more. It’s an incredible idea really, take a bunch of totally inexperienced kids, a youth worker or teacher, some dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer watch leaders, a highly experienced Skipper and Mate – set sail for a week in a Challenger yacht and see the magic unfold!
“It all comes to together every time. Every voyage is as different as the mixture of young people onboard and the British weather, yet every voyage is all about making fantastic memories and experiences for each young person. Life changing really!”
Emma Bradshaw OBE, who is a TSYT Trustee and Executive Principal at the Alternative Learning Trust – an umbrella organisation for three pupil referral units, shared the voyage experiences of pupil, Scott (16).
“Tall Ships helped him sleep. As he found he slept at sea, where he struggled on land. The residentials away, helped him recalibrate and his sleeping became better even when he returned home.
“Tall Ships got him attending school, as to come on the trips he needed to be in school. Then as he started to realise he wanted to be at sea he looked at his options and career. He realised he wanted to get some GCSEs to get the best options to be a ship’s engineer. As we’ve been speaking he has just completed paper 2 of his English GCSE.
“His voyage experiences have changed him as a person. He says, it’s changed his life and the sea is his world.”