Sam was in and out of work and sofa surfing before coming to UKSA with the Princes Trust. Finding direction and purpose in life is just the beginning of a positive journey for many of the young people that come through UKSA’s doors.

 Sam shares his story with us:

 “Before UKSA I was unemployed and doing any job I could. I was in and out of the Job Centre and sofa surfing. I first came to UKSA with the Princes Trust on one of their programs back in 2013, I then completed the Watersports Instructor Training (WIT) in November 2013 and got my dinghy, windsurf and stand up paddle boarding instructor qualifications. I received the Milo Bursary at UKSA [to assist with the costs] and, without that, I wouldn’t have had a decent start into working life!

My favorite experience at UKSA was meeting different people and learning new things that were completely alien to me! I was then able to then pass that experience on to others. It made me feel like an important link in a chain!


The most important thing I learned was humility! I was sat with one of the UKSA managers and someone asked him what he did, and he just answered with: “I work for the yachting department.” He could have answered with: “I’m the head of yachting.” It was only a small moment, but it made me feel blessed I was working in an environment where people are humble.

I’ve had many highlights of my career since completing my training! My first proper job was with UKSA teaching watersports and when I went home and told my family I had passed my courses and had a job, it was amazing! Also, when I was made an ambassador for UKSA I was invited to meet the Princess Royal in London. I then went to Greece to work as the regional sailmaker for Neilson and was in charge of most of Neilson’s sails. I’m currently working in Southampton making boat covers and biminies and saving up for my Yachtmaster exam.


My advice: take every opportunity that’s given to you

I would advise anyone starting their training at UKSA to take every opportunity that’s given to you and remember there aren’t really wrong ways of doing things, just different ways, so don’t be disheartened if people disagree with you! And remember what it feels like to be new, when you’re more experienced give other new people the time you needed!”sam-shorten-drinking-tea-at-uksa-1

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