James, 28, from Redditch in Worcestershire, will co-ordinate and manage all of the Trust’s operational activities in Scotland and the north of England from our base in North Ayrshire.
Following his arrival, James said: “As young people who are already going through ups and downs, after a cancer diagnosis has hit them, it’s incredibly important to get them back trusting themselves and trusting their body.
“Going out on a boat is a great way to do that because they see what they are capable of, and have a good time while they’re doing it. I don’t think it can be underestimated how beneficial that is.”
On board, he is all about having fun, and is looking forward to joining young people crabbing, wildlife spotting, and getting stuck in with all the Trust’s activities.
He brings to the role a wealth of experience, stretching back to when he started sailing at Youth Afloat activity centre in Redditch. His sailing career took off after he then started working with disadvantaged young people as an instructor at Youth Afloat.
“I’m looking forward to bringing a lot of experience from my previous jobs, getting more young people out on the water, and to keep on doing the good work that has been happening at the Trust.”
James officially takes over as Operations Manager for the North from Kerry McMillan in September. During Kerry’s five seasons in the role, the Largs base has grown from just two trips in 2013 to taking almost 200 young people out sailing in 2018.
Frank Fletcher, Trust CEO, said: “We welcome James as we thank Kerry for the incredible contribution she has made to growing both the number of young people supported from Largs and awareness of the Trust across the northern half of the UK.
“There were some outstanding candidates to replace her, but James stood out for his enthusiasm, professionalism and obvious desire to make a difference to the lives of even more young people who are in recovery from cancer.”