We let our beneficiaries do the talking at the official unveiling of our three-year strategy in London yesterday.

Island MP Andrew Turner made it possible for us to showcase our strategy in Parliament’s newest building, Portcullis House, and he was there in person to support us.

Beneficiaries of UKSA’s unique development programmes were interviewed on stage about how their lives have been turned around and transformed, including Islander Brendan Kearley who has recently been granted £2,000 towards a Superyacht Crew Training course following a successful Change Direction programme.

Also in attendance at the London event was London 2012 Paralympic gold medallist Helena Lucas.

Chief executive Richard Thornton said: “This event went off very well and it was a fantastic platform for our new strategy and to tell people about our continued focus on our three main areas of youth development, schools and groups, and professional training.

“We aim to increase provision of our youth development programmes from 200 to 2,000 a year by 2017, to grow the number of schoolchildren through our doors by a further 1,500 a year and increase provision of our professional training by a further 180 places a year.

“For this we need to grow our fundraising income so we have launched a capital campaign to develop our Cowes site, and increase our delivery onto the mainland. We have one other permanent base, in the Lee Valley, and we are looking for one more. Our Back to Work programmes can be rolled out anywhere and have already been expanded to The Solent area, Kent and Greater London, so we look to further our reach with those.

“We would like to thank Andrew Turner for his kind support and in providing our venue, and to Red Funnel for sponsoring our travel for the day.”

To help UKSA raise funds to support the new strategy, please phone 01983 294941.

Have a look at the film we made for the event.