IOW Pupils sail the high seas thanks to Red Funnel

In December 2014, Isle of Wight-based youth charity UKSA was unveiled as the official charity of car ferry specialists, Red Funnel. Today, UKSA and Red Funnel have launched their Year 6 sailing programme. Through the partnership, Red Funnel has set out to raise awareness and funding for UKSA’s invaluable work with young people on the Isle of Wight.

From the monies raised through the raft of initiatives, Red Funnel has pledged to continue the highly successful Year 6 sailing programme, offering each Year 6 pupil on the Island the chance to enjoy a free sailing session.

Brightstone Primary School was the first to benefit from Red Funnel support and take part in the programme. Each session promises to deliver an unforgettable adventure with lifelong impact, in what can be a difficult period in children’s academic life as they prepare for the transition to secondary school. Through UKSA’s sailing programme, the students are able to gain confidence and self-belief to make this transition as smooth as possible.

Kevin George, chief executive officer of Red Funnel, explained “Seeing the first school benefit from Red Funnel’s fundraising efforts and UKSA’s work has given a huge boost to the team. It’s important to us that Red Funnel supports local communities and organisations on the Island that make a real difference to people’s lives, and UKSA’s work with young people is invaluable. We are well on the way to achieving our fundraising target to enable current Year 6 children to take part in the programme.”

Richard Thornton, CEO explained “After last year’s success it is fantastic to have Red Funnel on-board to deliver this year’s programme. Despite being surrounded by water, many young Island people don’t actually get onto the water very often, if at all, and they don’t realise how much fun it can be and how much it can instil confidence and self-belief. With the students at such a key part in their lives, we believe the unique on the water experience can help build their self-esteem as they take the transition to senior school.”

In 2014, with the help of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week, the programme was delivered to 1,123 pupils. In 2015, UKSA hopes to top this with over 40 schools taking to the water over the next academic year