We need your support!
COVID-19 has completely stopped us from teaching sailing and introducing new Young people to the sport of sailing. This is because most of our training dinghies have the instructor and students in the same boat, where social distancing can’t be maintained. We have a large number of local people looking to learn to sail, and get out on the water, who we can’t currently help.
What we need
To solve this, we are looking to purchase a set of single person training dinghies, which would allow us to start teaching people how to sail again, and get them active and on the water. These boats allow us to comply with all government social distancing guidance, and are the future of sailing instruction. They increase the student to instructor ratio, getting more people through training, and speed up their learning process. We can teach young and old alike, whether solo, or in pairs, and they will give us the ability to teach advanced spinnaker skills to more experienced sailors as well. Their material and moulding construction makes them almost indestructible, so they will be of great use for many years, long after social distancing has been forgotten.
Who will it help
The boats will be an invaluable resource to the club, not just for our training and youth work, but to support our existing members in building their confidence and developing their sailing ability. The boats provide a perfect stepping stone for those used to training in pairs, and crewing to move up to racing in local competitions. They're also the ideal boat for members who would prefer more gentle sailing as part of our adventure days programme.
In 2020/21 Plymouth will commemorate the 400th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower. We want to connect disadvantaged young people with the Mayflower story through hands on experience of sailing boats - particularly children in care and those who would not usually get this type of opportunity. Many of these children will never have seen Plymouth Hoe, never visited the Barbican and certainly never imagined sailing a boat or travelling on one
We should have had an extensive program, putting on sailing days for school children whose background or economic situation would hamper or preclude them trying sailing. This would enable them to see what the sport is about and provide easy access pathways for them to continue, in a youth focused environment. This is one of the key goals of our organisation.
COVID-19 has also put this on hold, but with these boats we would be able to get it going again.
In these difficult times, the opportunity to get out on the water has been a huge boost to our members’ wellbeing, helping them regain a sense of normality. With many of our members currently out of school, unemployed or furloughed, our mid-week sailing sessions have provided them with the escape they need. Unfortunately, at the moment only those lucky enough to share a household with another sailor, or experienced enough to sail have been able to take part in our sailing sessions. This new fleet of single-handed training boats will enable us to expand this benefit to the community and all club sailors.
How much will it cost
We are looking to purchase twelve boats, at a total cost of £30,927. This enables the optimum instructor to student ratio, and gives us an effective ability to start to teach again.
Why are we unique
Compared to almost all other clubs, our dinghy sailing programme unique, in that our boats are all owned by the club and used by different people throughout the week to get on to the Ocean. Members do not need to own any of their own kit as the club can provide all requirements. Our volunteers come from many walks of life, maritime professionals, teachers, youth workers and those from industry. All are keen to share their passion for the sea with others from the Ocean City who may not have the same access as them. Many of our volunteers have been with us since 2000 and provide regular support for an average of 200 young people each year, plus many thousands through events and taster days supported by the club.
Who are we
Plymouth Youth Sailing Club moved to the Mount Batten Centre in 2000 and has been providing sailing opportunities for young people since 1985. We have a strong connection with the young people of Plymouth through partnership working with both schools and youth service providers, enabling those most disadvantaged in society to access the waterfront that surrounds the City. As a club, we are unique in Plymouth, being Youth Focused and driven by the needs of Young People rather than seeing them as just one of the club strands. We are able to provide new experiences, train sailors from the very basics, all the way up to National Competition race sailing. We also provide support and encouragement for those young people who want to progress to employment in the maritime sector, with ex members now working all over the world. We are normally very active throughout the year and have an open door policy to any new member looking to sail.
We have been hit very hard financially by the lockdown, with the high continued expense of maintaining our base and equipment. Our 2020 events programme has been completely decimated, with no activity to help offset these fixed costs or develop new opportunities.
We need external funding to afford the purchase of these training boats. We still have time this year to take delivery of these boats and train the young people who have been looking to learn, and get them active on the water.
Community involvement is a very important aspect of who we are. We have a current membership of over 150 Young People, supported by 40 active Volunteers, who last year gave over 3,450 volunteer hours to the club programmes. They helped us support 7 taster days that introduced an additional 350 people to boating in Plymouth.
Our club supports many other organisations, businesses, and events where we can, and not all have an interest in sailing, some of whom are listed here:
- The Making Waves Together project with Millbay Academy
- Sir John Hunt Community College curriculum enhancement programme
- Various Sea Cadet and CCF Units across the City
- The RNLI Yealm Passage Race, Safety Management
- The Chestnut Appeal Breakwater swim, safety support
- Plymouth Armed Forces Day, the National Fireworks Championships and the Pirate Festival, in a marshalling role
- The Port Of Plymouth Sailing Association Regatta together with numerous Class National Championships
- The National School Sailing Association, National Youth Regatta, now to be hosted in Plymouth in 2021
Our next step
We would greatly appreciate if you could give generously to help us to get Plymouth Young People sailing again. We have a wide selection of offerings for you to choose from, or you can simply make a donation. Any help will go a long way, and would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you for your time, and interest in our appeal.