Test the Water – Sailing for all Isle of Wight Year 6 School Children

Our “Test the Water” programme run by UKSA and funded entirely by individual and company donations gives every Year 6 child on the Isle of Wight the opportunity to participate in a half-day sailing or watersports session. As well as covering aspects of water safety (vital for children living on an island), these sessions are designed to develop confidence and key skills. These include communication, resilience, and team-work. Learners are pulled out of their comfort zone in a safe and supportive environment.

We believe the Test the Water programme helps in terms of breaking down barriers on the Islandsailing is often viewed as an elitist sport– we are seeking to change this stigma locally, providing all youngsters with the opportunity to experience the thrill of sailing and watersports, regardless of their background.

How many children have participated in this programme so far?

Since 2014, 4,880 Year 6 students have taken part in the Test the Water programme and this academic year (2019) 1,290 children will have the opportunity to take part in a half-day session from 44 Island Primary Schools.

We are also working hard to ensure free or subsidised follow-on opportunities are available for interested students, through programmes such as Polly’s Challenge and after-school clubs.

“I see every day the impact of this (child poverty and deprivation) and how it can result in low confidence, low self- worth, low mood and low aspirations. Many of our children miss out on life’s opportunities and the experiences that many other children enjoy because of cost and mindset.”

“Our children’s experiences should not be limited by cost. It is our aim that every child experiences a range of opportunities offered to them from trips away, theatre visits, activities, sports and sailing here at UKSA. I know what a difference you are making by supporting the ‘Test the Water’ programme, I see every day the children develop in confidence and self-esteem to become more prepared for life’s aspirations.”

Caroline Sice, Head Teacher, Lanesend Primary School

How is the test the water programme funded?

The success of the programme is all thanks to individuals and business support.  This academic year (2019) we want to raise £45,000 for all Year 6 children to attend. Your help in supporting this programme would be deeply appreciated.

If you would like to donate to this programme please click here

A huge thanks to the following supporters for their continued support

  • Aberdeen Standard Investments
  • Red Funnel
  • Esplanade
  • Wightfibre
  • The WightAid Foundation
  • Chris and Victoria Preston
  • Grace Palmer
  • Daisie Rich Trust
  • The Joan Braithwaite Sailing Trust Just Giving Fundraising
  • Several anonymous individual donors.

Contact the fundraising office on 01983 294941 or email [email protected] for more information.