A Statement By Sea-Change

Blue Mermaid, 1930

Contract awarded to build new sailing barge

The Sea-Change Sailing Trust works with young people with learning difficulties, vulnerable adults, those suffering social exclusion as well as young people interested in learning traditional sailing skills. We are a RYA Training and Sailability Foundation Centre and an Approved Activity Provider for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

In order to further widen the range of activities available we have been fundraising to build a new steel sailing barge. She will be a replica of an original named Blue Mermaid, which was lost during the Second World War and was the last sailing barge built during their heyday, in 1930. The appeal has the support of both the Rt Hon John Hayes MP, Minister for Transport and Boris Johnson, Mayor of London.

The contract to build the hull and deck has been won by Polruan based boatyard C Toms and Son, a long established builder of steel vessels and construction will start during the next few weeks. Following this she will be towed to Maldon later in the year for rigging and fitting out.

Blue Mermaid will enable us to offer more sea time than is currently available with the barges we rent. She will be engine less so will operate in a very low carbon environment. She will additionally have the ability to carry cargo under sail and to offer trainees the opportunity to consider maritime careers.

Statement available for download here.

Support From The Mayor Of London

Boris Johnson, Mayor of LondonWe are delighted to have received the endorsement of Boris Johnson, Mayor of London in support of our fundraising appeal, see here.

The contracts for the hull are agreed and we look forward to announcing the build start date imminently. Fundraising is well advanced but we still require funds this year to complete fitting out and rigging.

Your support is as important to us now as ever so please help to ensure the security of our work in support of the learning disabled, disadvantaged young people and vulnerable adults by helping us to build our new Thames sailing barge.

Sailing With Sea-Change This Year

Learning to handle a sailing bargeWe offer a wide range of sailing opportunities, please let us know which one suits you or tell us about your requirements. Most residentials are of five days duration and bursaries may be available.

* Join us to develop your traditional sailing skills and obtain formal sailing accreditation, with opportunities for onward career progression.

* Join us to undertake your Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Gold Residential.

* Join us with your school or youth group of up to 12 people including leaders for inclusive, confidence building sea going residentials.

* Join us with your carer on voyages specifically designed for young people or adults with learning difficulties.

* Join us with your organisation or family for a team building or enjoyable weekend under sail.

As you can see here our season is filling up so please do not delay contacting us. Happy Sailing!


Stepping Forward

A member of the Horlocks fleetReminder and Blue Mermaid were twins built for Horlocks of Mistley. We will be concentrating our work aboard Reminder next season and particularly during our extended summer sailing period. Soon she will be joined by Blue Mermaid ll for our specialist sail training and cargo work.

Once completed the  Horlocks steel sailing fleet will be whole again. Watch this space.

Ditch-Crawler Avisiting – Nick Ardley Talks To Sea-Change

Post residential debriefThe Essex based charity that works with disadvantaged, less able and socially excluded young people, as well as the wider maritime industry, is about to achieve its first aim in the furtherance of its excellent community work – that is the build of a new spritsail barge hull. This, once fitted out, will… read more here

Winter Sailing Seamanship Weekends

SB XyloniteSailing barge Xylonite is available for weekend seamanship courses during the winter. Accommodating guests in comfort these weekends will be delivered by Sea-Change instructors.

Based in London’s St Katharine Docks, located next to Tower Bridge, this is also an ideal opportunity to see modern London from a different perspective and to learn something of this mighty river from a fully restored vessel sailing in her home waters.

Visit Xylonite’s website to learn about her and get in touch or contact ourselves.

Welcome aboard!

Autumn Newsletter Now Available

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Our exciting new autumn newsletter is now available. It covers the second half of our sailing season and expounds the developments that are taking place at Sea-Change.

Read it here or print it off to read in the bath.

William Morris School’s Adventure

Ashley at the helmWilliam Morris School’s Adventure Onboard the ‘Reminder’ Thames Sailing Barge from Monday 22nd to Thursday 25th September 2014

We set out for Maldon to embark on a sailing adventure onboard the ‘Reminder’ Thames Sailing Barge. We were a small group but under the watchful eye of Captain Richard Titchener and First Mate Tom we were taught how to sail the boat and keep it ship shape! Working in two watches one on deck duty and the other preparing the next meal or relaxing! Everything on deck seemed BIG we worked together pulling up & dropping the sails, winching up the anchor, pulling the sheets, coiling & cleating ropes, tying knots and steering the 87ft boat. We enjoyed sitting around the table for our evening meal and discussing our day. By working hard supporting each other to sail the boat, over the 4 days we covered 87miles visiting Osea- East Mersea – past Clacton on Sea- Oakley Creek- West Mersea – Maldon.

Some of the highlights for the students were rowing ashore at Mersea and to the seal colony at Oakley creek at dusk, catching their first crab, sailing in the breeze on the way back, plotting our course on the chart and for Hamza climbing up the mast! We were even checked by Border Patrol! There were so many exciting moments that it was indeed a very different learning environment and experience for everyone.

Watch 1 Ashley, Abbas, Victoria & Aqsa, Watch 2 Hanan, Rebekka, Hamza and Jan all made a fantastic effort to make this trip a very successful for everyone. I would like to thank Captain Richard Titchener from ‘Sea-Change’ for providing us with the opportunity to be able to sail on the historic vessel the ‘Reminder’ his experience and knowledge made for a thoroughly enjoyable and safe voyage.     Santha Patel


Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership Traineeships

Click for Shipshape home pageApplications are invited for one of five traineeships on the Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership (SHTP) project, managed by National Historic Ships UK.

The placements will be based at five different locations throughout the UK including Sea-Change, delivering skills in maintaining, operating and interpreting historic vessels.  The traineeships are being offered as part of ‘Skills for the Future’, a national programme to create new opportunities in work-based training for the heritage sector funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Successful applicants will be placed with one of the partner organisations based in Anstruther, Brixham, Essex, Lowestoft and the River Hamble for the main summer sailing season and for part of the winter refit programme where there will be a chance to develop practical skills. Full details

Welcome Return For The Woolverstone Project

Woolverstone logoThe Woolverstone Project provides sailing opportunities and tuition for those with disabilities and we look forward eagerly to their return visit to us each year.

This case study based testimonial by Andy Harding, Health and Activity Therapist at Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation, has subsequently been received and they are happy for us to share it, it demonstrates the outcomes that we work to achieve.