Seventeen year old Santo had an awful start in life and was taken into care at the age of 5. His prospects looked dismal, but then he took part in his first Tall Ships voyage, and things began to change.

“The Tall Ships Youth Trust has changed Santo so much. Since his first voyage he has grown in maturity, confidence and self-esteem. He has learnt that although he is autistic, this won’t stop him achieving, he just has to work a little harder,” said his foster mother, Lin. “Now he lives and breathes for the next voyage and is eager to learn how to one day skipper his own boat!

Tall Ships Giving Young People Life Changing Experiences at Sea

Photo: The Tall Ships Youth Trust

“His dream now is to sail around the world!”

The Tall Ships Youth Trust is the UK’s oldest and largest sail training charity supporting more than 1,200 young people each year.

Their mission is to enable young people aged 12-25 years to fulfil their life potential through experiences at sea and by breaking down the barriers they face in society. It brings together a complete cross section of young people to work and live in a unique, physically and mentally challenging residential environment on an ocean-going sail-training vessel.

Tall Ships Giving Young People Life Changing Experiences at Sea

HRH the Duke of York at a Tall Ships Youth Trust fundraiser

Facing challenges including learning difficulties, hearing or visual impairments or behavioural, emotional and social difficulties, more than 117,000 trainees have sailed more than two million nautical miles on our fleet over the last 60 years.

The Trust’s current fleet includes four Challenger Yachts, a Catamaran and a Ketch which all provide a safe, physically and mentally challenging setting for people of all ages and abilities. In total, it is estimated that the Trust has helped 117,000 people and sailed more than two million nautical miles, enough to go around the world nearly one hundred times.

“Tall Ships gives young people the opportunity of a fast, crash course in understanding not only their own limitations but also the limitations of others around them so that they can manage themselves as a team,” said The Duke of York, a Patron of The Tall Ships Youth Trust. “Once they’re in that environment, leadership develops almost of its own accord.”

Click here for more information on the Tall Ships Youth Trust and to find out how you can get involved.

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Nisha Kotecha is the Founder of Good News Shared. Having worked and volunteered for charities in the UK for over 10 years, Nisha is on a mission to highlight how amazing charities are.

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