Brendan Kearley is from the Isle of Wight. He is in his mid 20s and wants to see the world. He has recently been awarded £2,000 from The Stephen Thomas Bursary towards the Superyacht Crew Training course at UKSA. The bursary is money donated in memory of Stephen Thomas, a keen adventurer and ocean yachtsman, to help young people enjoy adventurous sailing at UKSA.
This is his story: “In 2012 I was made redundant from a local major business. JobCentre Plus offered me the chance to take part in a Change Direction Programme at UKSA. I attended both the selection day and the interview and was successful in securing one of six places. During the programme a presentation given by an ex-UKSA student who was working on superyachts, inspired me to realise a career I could follow whilst still pursuing my dream to travel the world.
Since completing the programme I have returned to UKSA on a weekly basis as a volunteer for the Duke of Edinburgh award scheme (DofE), where I work to support the young people enrolled to develop their skills, grow in confidence and ultimately achieve their bronze, silver and gold DofE awards. I have recently taken on more responsibility within the groups, delivering expedition preparation sessions and aiding in the recruitment of new young people to a new group.
Through my involvement at UKSA I have twice been offered the amazing opportunity to be a member of crew on-board Gipsy Moth IV, the first time being for the annual ‘Round the Island Race’ placing 16th of 30 in the classics class. Recently I have been given the opportunity to become part of a crew from UKSA to enter the annual Association of Sailing Training Organisations (ASTO) race, taking place in October.
A Superyacht Crew Training qualification would enable me to gain employment around the world, would give me the opportunity to realise my dream and also be an ambassador for UKSA, the facilities and great opportunities it offers to those who see sailing as an important part of life.”
To further help Brendan, you can donate through his dedicated funding page www.gofundme.com/send-brendan-to-sea