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South London teens set sail at Aldeburgh Yacht Club thanks to BIGKID Foundation

by Florence Collenette 9 Jun 11:42 BST
South London teens set sail at Aldeburgh Yacht Club thanks to BIGKID Foundation © BIGKID Foundation

Award-winning youth charity BIGKID Foundation has brought 10 young people from South London estates to Aldeburgh Yacht Club in Suffolk to learn how to sail.

The purpose of BIGKID's sailing programme is to help young people unlock their potential; for kids from areas of high deprivation, being out on the open water is great way to broaden their horizons and build their confidence. Sailing also demands, teaches and develops a number of essential life skills, including communication, teamwork, self-awareness, leadership and problem solving.

"It was fantastic to have BIGKID return to AYC. The young people really impressed us with their sailing skills, as well as their enthusiasm and willingness to give it a go. They were great company and our instructors enjoyed the week as much as the students," says Sarah Davis, head of training at AYC.

This project was only made possible by the generosity of Aldeburgh Yacht Club and its many members and friends, many of whom volunteered their time to help teach the young people how to sail, take them out in cruisers and even prepare their food. BIGKID Foundation is incredibly grateful to everyone at Aldeburgh Yacht Club for the support they have provided for this project.

This was BIGKID's third year returning to Aldeburgh, and it was the best year yet - as well as sailing, the BIGKID group also took part in boating activities on Thorpeness Meare, horse riding, an art lesson and a story-telling workshop. "The positive impact that sailing has had on our young people will be long-lasting, and the skills they have learnt are so easily translated into tangible achievements back home in Lambeth," says Shaninga Marasha, CEO at BIGKID Foundation. All of the young people that took part enjoyed themselves and threw themselves into the activities - though most of them capsized on the first day, they encouraged one another to get back in the boats and try again.

The BIGKID sailing programme culminated with a prize giving at the Aldeburgh Yacht Club on Thursday 31st May, where the young people were joined by the club's members and friends for a drinks reception. The young people were presented with awards to mark their achievements over the week by the club Commodore, Patrick Hill.

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