World renowned sailor and UKSA Ambassador Dee Caffari MBE, was on hand to help build awareness of Cowes based charity UKSA at a dinner at the iconic Royal Yacht Squadron on Saturday.

Dee, who became the first woman to sail solo around the world the wrong way non-stop in 2006 is a former graduate and passionate believer in UKSA’s work. Most recently, Dee completed her 5th trip around the world, in the 2014/15 Volvo Ocean Race with all-female crew – Team SCA. Dee inspired guests about her UKSA career change story, where she made the transition from a teacher to a record breaking yachtswomen.

UKSA Trustee William Garnett, a senior partner in a leading city law firm hosted the event to share UKSA’s story and to show the successful impact UKSA’s work has on young people.

On the evening William commented, “People often have the misconception UKSA is just a training centre, because they launch so many careers every year in the maritime industry. This inspired me to host an evening at The Royal Yacht Squadron to change that misconception. It was a real privilege to show people what I have seen first-hand and the difference UKSA’s charity work makes to young people on the Island and beyond.”

UKSA Young Ambassador Danieka Jerram from Ryde spoke to guests about her UKSA journey and how the charity has helped turn her life around.

Danieka explained, “Before I came to UKSA I was homeless and I didn’t have any sense of direction. I completed their Unlocking Potential course and it has turned my life around. I received a bursary and my training at UKSA and I now love my work as a watersports instructor. My dream is to work abroad next year.”

UKSA’s Year 6 Test the water programme is offered to every child aged 10 – 11 on the Isle of Wight at the most critical stage of their life, to date this has impacted 2,200 children. £40,000 will continue to deliver this successful programme, to the 40 primary schools on the island. UKSA are looking for interested parties to support the new cohort of students.

UKSA’s centre in Cowes provides a unique environment and transformational opportunities for everyone, focusing on both work skills and life skills to the 10,115 young people who were welcomed through the doors in 2015 / 16 financial year.