The Summer Give – making a difference to London youngsters this summer

In June, UKSA teamed up with The Big Give and The Childhood Trust to make a difference to disadvantaged young people from London during their school holidays this year. Through the campaign, we were delighted to raise over £15,000 thanks to our amazing supporters!

The Summer Give aims to support some of the 700,000 London children who currently live in poverty, during the summer holidays when they are most vulnerable. Over £850k was raised in total this year by around 40 charities that took part in this year’s campaign which went towards supporting thousands of youngsters from across London.

Thanks to monies raised through UKSA’s campaign, 36 youngsters from London were given the chance to experience an adventure holiday to the Isle of Wight in July and August; beneficiaries came with a range of schools and charities, including Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy, Southside Young Leaders’ Academy, The Baytree Centre and George Green’s School.

George Green group shot

Each young person spent five days at our Academy on the Isle of Wight with all food, accommodation, evening activities and tuition included, offering them a summer experience to remember. All students participated in a jam-packed week of on-water activities, including sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and paddleboarding, all designed to boost confidence and life skills, and to broaden horizons. The youngsters also participated in evening activities each day which included team-building activities and learning about Ocean Stewardship.

“The sailing academy really helped with my resilience because no matter how many times I fell, the instructors always encouraged me to continue and try again.”
A young person from Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy

Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy

Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy is a youth charity, based in East London, which exists to nurture and develop the leadership potential of BAME young people. In August, they brought 24 students to UKSA for a residential activity programme, 18 of these youngsters received full-funding for their trip thanks to the Summer Give programme. For some of these beneficiaries, the programme served as preparation for them before they started new schools.

Eastside Young Leaders' Academy having fun in the water.

Eastside Young Leaders’ Academy having fun in the water.

“It was exhilarating! I had doubts about the activities that were planned, but when I participated and pushed myself, I had fun.”

“I really enjoyed water confidence. I normally have a phobia of swimming in deep water, but the instructors made me feel safe and helped boost my confidence.”

George Green’s School

George Green’s School is a secondary school on the Isle of Dogs in Tower Hamlets. The school has a strong maritime heritage but, with 75% of students qualifying for free schools, many would not ordinarily be able to access watersports. 15 youngsters came to UKSA in August for a 5-day programme, all of whom received full-funding thanks to the Summer Give.

George Green's pupils trying their hand at Stand-up Paddleboarding

George Green’s pupils trying their hand at Stand-up Paddleboarding

“I felt my confidence build up after I came to UKSA. After doing paddle boarding, I felt like I could try anything new and not be scared.

There were so many things I loved about UKSA. I liked the people there, they were fun to be around, lots of positive vibes! The sailing! I liked it so much I might even want to be an instructor when I am older.”

“Activities at UKSA teach you that you have to be more independent and think for yourself.”

The Baytree Centre

The Bay Tree Centre is a social inclusion charity for women and girls based in the heart of Brixton; they brought 11 young women to UKSA in July, 2 of whom were fully funded by the Summer Give programme.

Girls from the Baytree Centre enjoying some downtime from activities whilst at UKSA

Girls from the Baytree Centre enjoying some downtime from activities whilst at UKSA

Southside Young Leaders’ Academy

Southside Young Leaders’ Academy is a youth charity based in Camberwell that exists to develop leadership potential in boys, aged 8-16 of African and Afro-Caribbean heritage, who are living in deprived areas and may be at risk of social exclusion. In August, a group of 14 boys embarked on a trip to UKSA, 5 of whom were able to attend fully-funded thanks to the Summer Give.

Southside boys enjoying some kayaking at UKSA

Southside boys enjoying some kayaking at UKSA

Tower Hamlets in 2019 is still a very tough place in which to grow up. Many of our students face a range of challenges, living, as they do, in one of the poorest boroughs in London, and indeed the UK. Inner-city living is pretty fraught for young people these days. It is little wonder that many of them feel anxious and fearful for their futures, and lack motivation and self-confidence.

As a school we know the benefits to students of taking part in enriching, activities outside the curriculum. We know that they build resilience, and confidence and boost self-esteem, develop courage, and motivation, teamwork and leadership skills. And this is where UKSA come in with their fantastic programmes and their skillful staff.

We’ve witnessed them working their magic on the most reluctant of students. The students who tell me on the way to the ferry that they can’t swim, don’t want to get their hair wet, are scared of drowning, have never been on a boat or away from home before. It’s hard to put into words the buzz on the journey home.

Back at school a Year 7 girl told me that it was the bravest and freest she had ever felt when she had stood on the bow of the boat. It had made her feel like she could do anything.”
Jane O’Sullivan – Enrichment Manager, George Green’s School