It’s always great to hear about active watersports charities, using windsurfing and other watersports to help the wider population. Here’s the latest from the UKSA, who are focussed on increasing the numbers of young people on the water!
Youth charity UKSA let its beneficiaries do the talking at the official unveiling of their three-year strategy in London this week (Thurs 31).
Island MP Andrew Turner made it possible for Cowes-based UKSA to showcase its strategy to 100 people in Parliament’s newest building, Portcullis House, and he was there in person to support the charity.
Beneficiaries of UKSA’s unique development programmes were interviewed on stage about how their lives have been turned around and transformed, including Islander Brendan Kearley who has recently been granted £2,000 towards a Superyacht Crew Training course following a successful Change Direction programme.
Also in attendance at the London event were London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas and Dee Caffari – the first woman to sail around the world in both directions alone and non-stop.
Chief executive Richard Thornton said: “This event went off very well and it was a fantastic platform for our new strategy and to tell people about our continued focus on our three main areas of youth development, schools and groups, and professional training.
“We aim to increase provision of our youth development programmes from 200 to 2,000 a year by 2017, to grow the number of schoolchildren through our doors by a further 1,500 a year and increase provision of our professional training by a further 180 places a year.
“For this we need to grow our fundraising income so we have launched a capital campaign to develop our Cowes site, and increase our delivery onto the mainland. We have one other permanent base, in the Lee Valley, and we are looking for one more. Our Back to Work programmes can be rolled out anywhere and have already been expanded to The Solent area, Kent and Greater London, so we look to further our reach with those.
“We would like to thank Andrew Turner for his kind support and in providing our venue, and to Red Funnel for sponsoring our travel for the day.”
To help UKSA raise funds to support the new strategy, please phone 01983 294941.
UKSA has been shortlisted as a potential Cowes Week charity. To vote, please follow the link from UKSA’s website homepage at www.uksa.org