Our vision

A society where all young people strive to create better outcomes for themselves and for their communities

Our purpose

Out on the ocean we empower young people to realise their full potential, supporting them on their journey to adulthood and for some, careers in the maritime sector and the blue economy​

Our mission

Enabling young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to change their lives at sea and contribute to the maritime sector and the blue economy

Spinnaker pole

Empowering young people

Working as a team onboard our vessels, young people have the freedom to explore unchartered possibilities and forge new alliances.

Through shared learning they build self-esteem, confidence and the skills needed to ‘sea beyond their horizon’.

We bring together crews of different social backgrounds and nationalities to promote understanding, teamwork and friendship onboard. They work together in an occasionally tough, but safe, environment, through storms, wet weather and living in very close quarters.

Whether they’re navigating during particularly rough conditions or baking for a crew of 10 in a tiny galley kitchen, they learn life skills that can’t be taught on land, where it can be all too easy just to walk away!

Our voyage experiences are shaped by our values, and designed to be nurturing and inclusive, positive and challenging, and about striving for social change.

Throughout a voyage, our sailing staff and volunteers share their life lessons and experiences and act as positive role models for the young people. They grow in their ability to create and develop positive relationships with other young people and adults.

Up to 20% of the young people who sail with us are recommended to return and train as a volunteer, giving them the opportunity to support others and work towards a career in the maritime sector.

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After 20 years in youth work, I thought I’d seen it all, but we built a level of trust and engagement with the young people during the voyage that would have taken six months to achieve on land. Within four months of the voyage eight of the nine young people had gone into jobs, apprenticeships or college. Amazing!

Colin, Senior Youth Manager
Young people on Challenger

Our supporters have enabled more than 120,000 young people to experience a transformational voyage since we first began in 1956.

Of the young people who sailed with us in 2021/22


Were from a disadvantaged background or had a disability.


Believe they now work better in teams


Said they are now able to manage their feelings better


Believe their communication skills have improved


Returned home with increased confidence and self-esteem


returned home with improved leadership skills

*Outcomes based on survey responses from 74% of 626 young people who sailed on a residential voyage with us in 2021/22. In a typical year, we take 1,000 young people to sea.

The young people you help

Young people from disadvantaged backgrounds represent 75% of our beneficiaries.

Challenges they face include:

  • learning, physical or mental difficulties
  • behavioural, emotional or social difficulties
  • caring responsibilities
  • ethnically diverse backgrounds
  • low income support/single parent household
  • not in employment, education or training
  • on the cusp of, or involved in criminal activity

We work with many youth groups and agencies including YMCA, Scouts, Girlguides, schools, special needs schools, pupil referral units, youth offending teams, young carers, police and The Prince’s Trust.

The benefit of working in this way is that the young people receive additional mentoring outside of our work from their youth workers who accompany them on the voyage.

We accommodate those with special educational needs and disabilities; from varying degrees of learning difficulty, to young people with fine motor coordination and social interaction challenges.

Most importantly, none of the young people that come on our youth voyages need to have ever set foot on a boat before.

Find out more on our Youth Crew pages.

Will Sears

They need your help

We need your support to grow and reach out to more young people than ever before. Please help them today by donating your time or money to help transform their lives.

Read Katie’s incredible story below.