Getting started with sailing


A SAILING project is on the crest of a wave after securing top-level backing.

The UK’s leading youth development charity, the Prince’s Trust, has appointed the North-East sail training charity Ocean Youth Trust North (OYT North) as its first-ever partner in a programme called Get Started.

And the first people to feel the benefit of the project will be a ship’s crew from Hartlepool.

The Get Started programme, which is open to people aged 16-25 and who are unemployed, aims to help them develop new skills, build confidence, increase motivation and get a qualification while making new friends at the same time.

The partnership between OYT North and the Prince’s Trust will see two groups of 12 young people undertake a five-day voyage along the North-East coast this summer aboard James Cook, the charity’s yacht.

Under the guidance of skipper Grace Metcalfe, the scheme participants will learn how to navigate, set the sails and take the helm while taking responsibility for all the cooking and cleaning.

They will be encouraged to learn teamwork, leadership, communication and problem-solving.

Steve Lennon, general manager of OYT North, said: “We are thrilled to work in partnership with the Prince’s Trust as their first sailing provider in the north for Get Started.

“Young people from schools, colleges, youth groups, local authorities and a whole host of charitable organisations have been benefiting from our sailing development programmes for many years.

“We will soon be welcoming young people from the Prince’s Trust on board, teaching them new skills and giving them the confidence to secure their future employment.”

The planned voyages for this summer will focus on unemployed young people aged 16 to 19, with the first crew from Hartlepool and Middlesbrough, and the second from Newcastle.

Judith Stothard, Head of Programmes at the Prince’s Trust, said, “We are delighted to welcome OYT North as a delivery partner of the Prince’s Trust and look forward to working together.”

OYT North specialises in the personal and social development of young people through sailing.

For more information, email or call (0191) 2571212.