The Sea-Change Youth Sailing Scheme (YSS) was formed during 2009 from a core group of young people who sailed with us as members of care or other groups and asked if they could return as individuals, to build on their experience, embark on adventures at sea and undergo more intensive sail training.

Funding was raised and the subsequent voyages were very successful. Periods aboard ranging from a week to extended periods in excess of a month have become an established part of our season.

The object of YSS is to work with small groups of young people residentially at sea for extended periods, enabling them to embed the knowledge gained.

Members have an important say in each programme and have also introduced new people to the scheme. Leadership training and sailing accreditation is available as well as the opportunity to develop life skills and build self-confidence.

Structured sail training ranges from the Royal Yachting Association’s Competent Crew Certificate to our own Thames Sailing Barge Training Course, which is aimed at those considering maritime careers and wishing to obtain sufficient experience to sail as mate aboard the fleet of Thames barges, which still ply the Thames estuary today. Please also read about our Seamanship Scholarship Fund.

This new crew base will also benefit now that our new Thames Sailing Barge Blue Mermaid is available. Engine-less, she can carry cargo in addition to facilitating our traditional work, thus adding purpose to the training.

Costs should not bar any student from undertaking a programme and a bursary scheme may be able to assist where other avenues of funding have been explored. To learn more please contact us here.