21 September 2022

A summer to remember!

It is hard to believe this weekend (22-25 September) the final trip of 2022 sets sail!

Two young people doing tghe titanic pose at the front of Solent Hero

The 10 young people who will take part in the fun-filled annual Small Ships Race in the Solent, organised by the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO), no fewer than 522 young people are set to have been supported by the Trust this summer.

Following the pandemic-affected seasons of the past two years, it’s just awesome to have welcomed so many young people sailing and on outdoor adventures.

Here’s 2022 in numbers…

266 young people sailed with the Trust for four days for the first time.

228 young people returned for further sailing and outdoor adventures.

12 brothers and sisters of young people supported by the Trust enjoyed our first siblings’ trip for three years.

20 young people are preparing to do their Graduate Volunteer training this autumn, to support other young people on trips from next summer.

34 trips in total, including a canal trip and four day-sails for young people on palliative treatment.

Young people watching the sunset at Yarmouth ‘Difference’ not ‘do’

But the ‘hard numbers’ are just part of the story.

What impact the trips have had on the mental wellbeing on each of these young people is the other, arguably more important, part. We’re beginning to understand that better than ever. Measuring impact was a key objective of our Ambitions 2020-2022.

Following a pilot last year, we are starting to see how much and what difference our trips make through academically-rigorous Warwick-Edinburgh Mental Well-being Scale (WEMWBS) questionnaires young people complete pre and post trip.

Two weeks before their trip, every young person is invited to answer seven questions to measure their wellbeing at that point. Two weeks and then three months after their trip, they are invited to answer the same questions, to see if there has been a change in their wellbeing and in what ways.

This year, there has been an incredible completion rate of over 70%, which gives us a very robust sample from which to be able to draw conclusions about our impact in 2022. This first set of full results will be published in the new year.

In early 2023, we will also have real-time impact reporting live on the Trust’s website, which will be a game-changer in showing the difference we make to both young people and families and our committed supporters.

Young people waving from the front of Caledonian Hero in ScotlandThank you

This summer wasn’t without it challenges.

COVID continued to keep us on our toes, causing last minute changes to trip plans for young people and the Trust team.

The knock-on meant, at times, we weren’t as on top of our pre-trip communications as we would have liked, and we really are very sorry for any inconvenience or confusion that caused to anyone. We are already working to try to stop these issues occurring again next summer.

It was a real team effort, with the patience and understanding of young people and families, volunteers and skippers stepping in at the last minute and the team jumping into often unfamiliar roles to make sure trips went ahead.

Together we did it, all the trips happened and 528 young people benefitted.

So, THANK YOU to every single person who made this all possible.

Right, on we go to ASTO…