<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Devon Life today click here

The Island Trust’s inspirational course

PUBLISHED: 10:23 27 March 2017 | UPDATED: 10:23 27 March 2017

Many students enjoy trips with the Island Trust

Many students enjoy trips with the Island Trust


Chrissy Harris sets sail with a charity which is helping young people develop though life on the ocean wave

Hanging around with a group of teenagers in a confined space for a week might not seem like much fun. But sat aboard a traditional wooden sailing boat with Josh, Ben, Owain, Adam, James, Liam, Tyrone, and friends is a pretty uplifting experience. These 14- and 15-year-olds have just returned from six days at sea with The Island Trust, a Plymouth based charity that provides confidence-boosting sailing adventures to some of the country’s most disadvantaged youngsters.

Groups are taken out and - quite literally - shown the ropes as they learn how to work as a team, often in extreme weather conditions.

For most, it’s an experience they never forget – and that’s clearly going to be the case for Josh and his pals.

We sit below deck, moored in Plymouth Yacht Haven’s marina, as these pupils from St Illtyds School in Cardiff take part in a team debrief and tell skipper Rebecca Morley what they have learned from their trip of a lifetime.

“I realise now that I can do new things without thinking that I can’t,” says Josh Boalch, 15.

“It’s been so amazing. And the best part was seeing dolphins!”

There’s also talk of exploring Falmouth, barbecues on the beach, a party plus an early dose of seasickness that meant some team members were laid low during their 101-mile trip.

“That was the worst part for me,” says skipper Rebecca. “But you lot powered through and have shown so much confidence and done so well this week. I’m so proud of you all. You’ve worked so hard.”

The charity has three traditional sailing vessels, called Moosk, Pegasus and Tectona, pictured here The charity has three traditional sailing vessels, called Moosk, Pegasus and Tectona, pictured here

Class teacher and assistant Year 11 head John Healey, is also in good spirits, considering he has just spent seven days on a boat with his pupils.

He tells his fellow shipmates: “I took away a group of individuals. But I really feel as though I’ve brought back a team. It’s such a proud moment for me.”

The mood below deck is incredibly buoyant and you get the impression that these lads will go home with a totally new perspective on life.

“That’s the idea,” says Roger Crabtree, charity trustee, who has been on the deck, listening to these inspiring accounts from the Island Trust’s latest sailors.

“We had a mum say recently that her son has been a different boy at home since he came along on a voyage. It’s all about giving personal drive to young people.”

Roger says the trips aboard the trust’s fleet of three sailing vessels provide youngsters with a lesson in teamwork on a traditional boat across the open sea.

It’s a world away from what many of the recruits - some of whom have learning difficulties, behavioural issues or come from areas of deprivation - are used to.

“There’s something about the sea – you are in a completely alien environment,” says Roger. “Many of them have never been on the sea. We have pupils from a school here in Plymouth who have never been to the beach. This is the society we live in. It’s just that they’ve never had the opportunity.”

“I just love seeing the development of the kids,” says skipper Rebecca. “You ask them to do something at the beginning of the week and you just get a load of blank stares.

“But, like it was here yesterday, I barely had to say anything. They just got stuck in.”

Managing disagreements and mood swings is all part of the job, and, as Rebecca says: “There’s no room for sulking on a boat.”

But most of the sailors leave their troubles at the shoreline and thoroughly enjoy their week, so much so that many come back again.

“They would never get these experiences if it wasn’t for organisations like this,” says John Healey, as we clamber back onto dry land.

The Trust has an ongoing commitment to fundraising and this particular voyage was funded in partnership with Reardon Smith Nautical Trust.

To find out more, or to make a donation to the valuable work that the charity does in support of disadvantaged/disabled young people, see theislandtrust.org.uk

Conrad Humphreys has just joined the board of trustees at the Island Trust Conrad Humphreys has just joined the board of trustees at the Island Trust

Devon’s own world-class professional sailor Conrad Humphreys has just joined the board of trustees at the Island Trust. He says there are so many benefits to being aboard a sailing boat. “There are lots of ways you can work with young people but a boat environment seems to break down barriers to communication,” says the Plymouth-based round-the-world yachtsman. “Sailing is one of those rare activities that can really achieve results. It’s a sport like no other. You actually have to work together.”

The Island Trust: celebrating more than 40 years of adventure

The Trust was set up in 1973 by Richard (Dick) Lloyd MBE.

He is passionate about traditional wooden boats and ‘strives to address the inequalities in access to the benefits of sailing’.

The charity has three traditional sailing vessels, called Moosk, Pegasus and Tectona.

The youngsters that come to sail are aged between 14 to 18, but can be as young as ten or up the age of 25.

Over 400 were welcomed on board in 2015

The Trust is committed to helping young people with a range of disabilities, as well as those with educational or behavioural issues and those from inner city or deprived areas.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Devon Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Devon Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Devon Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from People

Tue, 12:03

A very familiar face from our television screens is coming to the county soon in a completely different guise to his acting work

Read more
Friday, March 9, 2018

Devon has produced some of the world’s best talent when it comes to film, music, sport, TV or pretty much any other field you can think of. Here are 18 celebrities that have shaped popular culture in their own unique way

Read more
Thursday, March 8, 2018

From nurses to TV stars, chefs to campaigners and runners to cider makers, Devon’s women are some of the most inspirational people you’ll meet in day-to-day life. We celebrate 12 who’ve made a mark on our county’s cultural and social landscape

Read more
Tuesday, March 6, 2018

A unique steamship is being restored at Bideford for a new educational role, writes Owen Jones

Read more
Friday, March 2, 2018

Rural communities throughout the UK could be eligible to receive funding via the Calor Rural Community Fund from energy provider Calor

Read more
Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Photographer Lee Pengelly urges everyone to get out onto our moors at night and looks upwards with their camera

Read more
Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Branscombe residents have seen it all over the years: smugglers, ghosts and one of the most extraordinary shipwrecks the world has ever seen. Chrissy Harris meets a woman helping to preserve the history of this fascinating village…

Read more
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The South West Coast Path has led to romance for many couples. Now Becky Millington wonders, will she be next?

Read more
Thursday, February 8, 2018

We reveal the finalists of this year’s Devon Life Landscape Artist of the Year. All finalists will now display their work at Mayne Gallery in March with the winner revealed on opening night

Read more
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

A new fashion exhibition at a landmark Devon National Trust property will give a timely insight into the links between fashion and suffrage

Read more
Monday, February 5, 2018

A century after the Representation of the People Act was passed, author Tracey Glasspool reveals how the campaign for women’s suffrage had been bitterly contested in Devon

Read more
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

They get to pose the difficult questions and put interviewees on the spot every day in ITV’s regional news programme, Westcountry News, but especially for Devon Life Kate Haskell turns the tables and gets the lowdown on presenters Ian Axton and Kylie Pentelow

Read more
Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Recently we covered 13 celebrities you never knew were from Devon, because Devon is home to so many famous faces here are eight more that we missed…

Read more
Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Founder member of Police Dog Hogan, James Studholme, tells Judy Spiers the story of how the country band got their most distinctive moniker

Read more
A+ South & South West
Great British Holidays advert link
Pure Weddings advert link
South West Life advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Devon's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search