Sea-Change Sailing Trust

1 Opportunity


Greater LondonSouth East England



The Sea-Change Sailing Trust provides residential opportunities for young people and vulnerable adults to learn and develop in a unique environment. By living and working together aboard a traditional sailing vessel they participate in a wide range of life skills and are encouraged to take increasing responsibility for their contribution and group decisions. We offer a graduated set of programmes from entry level tasters to extended residential periods with accreditation.


*Not in employment, education or training
*Young offenders or those in danger of offending
*Experiencing social exclusion
*With special needs
*Challenged by traditional educational settings


*An alternative approach to education in a unique setting
*Learning through activity
*Individual learning plans with ongoing mentoring
*A structured, safe yet challenging environment

 HOW WE DO IT              

Clients sail the coastal waters of the Thames Estuary from our base in Maldon, Essex aboard a Thames sailing barge. The nature of working on the water is one of variety, whether the result of the changing tidal pattern each day, the weather or destination. Therefore, the ship has a routine which runs throughout each day with a daily objective. The crew will usually work a watch system ensuring everyone gets an opportunity to learn each job whilst on passage. It is normal on all but the shortest trip to facilitate visits to beaches, learn how to row, steer, tie knots, how a boat sails, navigation and safety at sea.


Our approach concentrates on high quality personal support and training with ongoing mentoring, entrenching the development of small groups of students for the long term rather than limiting the experience to time spent aboard. The support we offer once our clients have returned home is, we believe, unique in our sector. It enables us to continue personal support after they have returned from a programme and to sustain them between programmes. As they are often from very disadvantaged backgrounds it is critical in encouraging lasting, positive outcomes that boost confidence and self esteem. 


What sets this project apart is that the experience and engagement is totally real. It's run by hard-handed barge sailors who don't compromise their integrity as seamen to please some shore-based committee. The result is refreshingly straightforward. Clients develop a genuine relationship with the sailing machine and a respect for the only sort of social values that can embed positive change.” 

Tom Cunliffe, Sailor, BBC Broadcaster, Writer, Appeal Patron

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