February 17, 2018 | 10:05am

Support Ocean Youth Trust South and help start a life-changing voyage

Vikki is 12 and has been bullied. She’s lost her confidence, won’t speak up in class and is frightened of meeting new people. Dan is 19: he found school difficult, has no qualifications and can’t find work – he’s struggling to prove to any potential employer that he can be reliable, work in a team or take on responsibility. And Amy is 16 and helps look after a sister with a serious medical condition which means she won’t live to be an adult – Amy feels isolated from her friends and although she’s worried about her exams she hasn’t said anything at home as she thinks her mum has enough to cope with already.

Sail training with Ocean Youth Trust South could be the opportunity of a lifetime for Vikki, Dan and Amy, helping each of them to a brighter future. Ocean Youth Trust South sailing voyages in their fantastic boat Prolific for people aged 12-25. It costs around £385 for someone to take part in a 5-day voyage on board Prolific, and some people are lucky enough to come from families who can afford to pay for them to come for an adventure holiday. But others can’t afford anything like this, and at the same time have problems at home or at school which mean they are at risk of not fulfilling their potential or going on to achieve all that they are capable of doing. On board Prolific, everyone is treated as an active crew member, involved in steering, sail handling, deck work, navigation, keeping watch, cooking, cleaning and more. This can have an amazing effect in helping young people to develop their confidence, self-esteem, resilience, teamwork, the ability to cope with new experiences and deal with setbacks, communication, tolerance and understanding of others and more – essentially, helping them to grow up ready to make the most of their lives.

Here are some real examples of young people who have sailed with Ocean Youth Trust South recently:

A 17-year old boy came to the UK as a refugee having lost all his family – and now lives alone in a room in a hostel. He told us that on the boat, it was the first time for three years that he had eaten a meal at a table with other people: “When we sit together, eat together, like a family. Like, we just met on Sunday. Like a family.”
A girl who lost her sight after a head injury said: “My favourite bit was that it was really inclusive boat, I wasn’t treated any differently because of my disability. My most memorable bit was being at the helm over the finish line of a race, I really appreciated that.”

Any money donated to Ocean Youth Trust South through Little Sharers will allow us to keep our voyages open to disadvantaged young people who couldn’t otherwise afford to take part. Your contribution really could change someone’s life for ever. Start the voyage here at Little Sharers

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