Helping young people overcome barriers

The Unlocking Potential programme

On UKSA’s ground-breaking Unlocking Potential programme, participants use on-the-water activities as the catalyst for positive change, giving them the chance to get their lives back on track.

This four-week course is suitable for those excluded or at risk of exclusion from schools, young offenders and those at risk of offending and gang members or those at risk of gang involvement. The course has also been undertaken by individuals from within the local community who were identified as requiring additional support.

Week 1:


Five-day residential module working as an individual and as part of a team through challenges and activities such as dinghy sailing and keelboating. Focus on motivation, aspirations, commitment, and establishing a healthy routine within a structured yet dynamic environment.

Week 2:

Sail Training

Five-day module working and staying on a yacht, learning how to become an effective crew member. Taking on clear roles and responsibilities, focusing on coping strategies, resilience, teamwork, communication, independence and self belief.

Week 3:


Five-day module giving participants the opportunity to work together to improve a community facility. Focus on ownership and responsibility, leadership, understanding and coping.

Week 4:


Five-day module offering work experience and focusing on the outcomes and destinations after the programme. Experience maritime activities and learn about potential employment opportunities within the industry – something they probably haven’t considered before.

91% success rate (those who have served their sentence and not re-offended).

50% of programme participants have found employment after release.