Noteworthy figures from the sailing world gathered last night at Trinity House, London, to celebrate UKSA's 30th Anniversary. The event was attended by Her Royal Highness Princess Anne, who is a patron of the charity.
There were a number of presentations outlining the work that the UKSA does and also their plans for the future. The association is raising money to build new training facilities and accommodation in order to continue to change the lives of the thousands of young sailors who pass through its doors. The chair of trustees, William Garnett, explained that they aim for the work to start by Autumn 2018, and that the money would increase efficiency and double outputs. He explained that the new facilities would secure UKSA's place in Cowes for “another 30 years.” He then revealed that they had raised almost £800,000 already, adding that the charity has "a very bright future."
Speaking to SuperyachtNews, UKSA CEO, Ben Willows, highlighted that many of those who train at the facility in Cowes go on to work in the large yacht market. “Our students are professionally trained and qualified so they can go and work in the superyacht industry. A significant number of the people who have trained professionally with us, about 1,500 per year, go into what we call the superyacht sector.” UKSA hope to raise £2.5million in order to continue their developments, and the event held last night was an opportunity to promote the work that the organisation does, in order to garner more donations. As Willows adds, “What we are doing this evening is one, celebrating 30 years of the UKSA, and two, talking about the need for us to develop our site so that we can update facilities and train more people over time.”
The improvement in the charity’s training and accommodation areas would be a huge benefit for those who see working in the sailing or superyacht world as a long term career move. One of the most important aspects of the UKSA's programme is working with young people from deprived urban areas, who have not been exposed to sailing. This is why many corporate partners support the charity. Campbell Fleming, Aberdeen Standard Investments (one of the UKSA's corporate investors) explained he has a personal attachment to the organisation, as his children attended UKSA. “Vocational training is hugely important,” he added, a reason why his company continues to back the programmes.
To learn more about UKSA and their programmes, click here.