UKSA announces record number of funded places for children in 2021 through new Isle of Wight campaign
UKSA has today announced that during 2021, it funded 3,275 young people on water-based adventures, a record for the charity. This includes 1,400 Year 6 students from the Isle of Wight who took part in its Test the Water programme. These are just two of the key findings from UKSA’s new ‘Did you know?’ campaign, which launches across the Island from today.
Ben Willows, CEO of UKSA, said: “Our commitment to the Island is ever growing and we’re proud to continue to exceed the numbers of children on the Isle of Wight who are benefitting from our funding, which we can only do with the continued support from our amazing donors. Our new campaign will highlight some of the little-known facts about UKSA. As one of the bigger employers on the Island, we wanted to give our community a better understanding of the impact we have. From our Skills for Life assessments which take place before and after each child’s experience with us, we know that we have increased the water confidence of over 1,400 Island children in the last year.”
In the next 12 months, UKSA will welcome over 11,000 beneficiaries and will continue to provide funding support to the most deserving young people to ensure costs do not form a barrier to experiencing outdoor water-based activities.
With a new 136-bed accommodation centre due to open shortly, thanks to the generosity of UKSA’s donors, the charity will be able to welcome an additional 3,000 young people each year to continue growing its impact on life skills and career prospects. The new facility boasts configurable zones offering more flexible arrangements, as well as disabled access.
Ben continues: “Over the past 12 months, a focus for us has been on mental health and in addition to being a finalist for the IWCC Workplace Health and Wellbeing Award, we’ve recently launched a mental health first aid course which all Island businesses and employees can benefit from. Students, staff and visitors also have access to two welfare officers while at UKSA to improve their experiences during their time with us.”
With 285 UKSA students entering maritime employment in 2021, it further cements its reputation as the world’s leading maritime training centre with industry-leading instructors helping thousands of individuals launch long-term careers. Offering a credible alternative to university and the opportunity to enter the workplace with qualifications, skills and real-life experience, UKSA’s training programmes can provide pathways for roles such as deck officers, deck and interior crew, yacht skippers, watersports and sailing instructors.