The Whirlwind Charitable Trust, Lister Charitable Trust and UKSA have formed a bursary scheme in memory of their inspirational founder Noel Lister. The bursary scheme aims to support young people aged 17 – 25 who have little financial support, but driven by a dream to train and gain employment in the marine industry. By creating this opportunity a young person will be able to access the Professional Training Courses needed for entry into an exciting and challenging career.

With a huge dose of entrepreneurial spirit, Noel made his name by creating MFI, which at the time was the UK’s largest and most innovative furniture retailing group. He was a keen sailor and became well-known within the yachting world for his succession of Whirlwind yachts, which cruised extensively and competed at the highest levels.

After the sale of the MFI furniture group, Noel and Sylvia explored the world in their 105ft custom sloop Whirlwind XII, and this 200,000 mile, 10-year double circumnavigation took them to some of the remotest places on the planet.

Noel always had the desire to give something back to society, and he did this by committing £4 million to the establishment of UKSA in Cowes in 1987. The aim was, and remains today, to introduce as many young people as possible to the inspiration and challenge of sailing.

One of the key philosophies of the bursary is that any monies granted will be paid back into the scheme by the recipient. This is to ensure that the recipients are supported with the “hard bit”- being able to afford the cost required to attend the right training course for them. There will then be an agreed time frame in which the monies will be paid back into the bursary so that the scheme is self- sustaining in the long term and that more and more young people can benefit from this opportunity in years to come. The time frame in which the repayments are made would always be set so that it is achievable for the individual recipient.

Once the monies owed are paid back by the recipient into the scheme, the recipient will continue to make payments to the scheme in the form of a donation, as a thank you, enabling the bursary to grow over time.

Applications can be made at any stage throughout the year and bursary places will be awarded on a case by case basis. Applicants will be expected to undertake a selection interview; this can be on site at USKA, via Skype, or over the phone.

Courses eligible for funding assistance through the bursary are;

Professional Yacht Cadetship

Professional Yachtmaster

Superyacht Crew Training

Superyacht Interior Training

Watersports Instructor Training