A voyage of discovery

PUBLISHED: 08:10 02 February 2015 | UPDATED: 08:10 02 February 2015

Jubilee Sailing Trust. Tallshipstock.com

Jubilee Sailing Trust. Tallshipstock.com

Tallshipstock.com

The Jubilee Sailing Trust has launched an exciting appeal to enable abled bodied and disabled people from Norfolk to join together to sail the world.

Jubilee Sailing Trust. Tallshipstock.comJubilee Sailing Trust. Tallshipstock.com

Sailing the oceans in a spectacular Tall Ship is something most of us can only dream of – but an exciting new fundraising campaign will give the opportunity of a lifetime to people from Norfolk to join the crew.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust has just launched its Norfolk Berth Appeal to enable those with a disability to take part in a life-changing voyage.

For the past 30 years, the national charity has enabled more than 39,000 people to take to the high seas, with able bodied sailors buddying up with those with varying degrees of physical disability.

As well as changing perceptions and boosting confidence and life skills, the trips have also led to life long friendships between the crew members from all different backgrounds.

The charity has always had a close affinity with Norfolk, illustrated in the naming of its flagship vessel The Lord Nelson, which will be attending this year’s Yarmouth Maritime Festival.

Now it hopes to raise enough money through its new appeal to fund berths on one of its two ships – the Lord Nelson and Tenacious – for those living in the county.

Duncan Souster, chief executive of the Jubillee Sailing Trust, says that focusing on what people can do rather than what they cannot do really does change lives.

“We are hopeful that the Norfolk Berth Appeal will be able to provide an unforgettable experience for local residents of all physical abilities. We are also hopeful that it can raise awareness of disability and promote diversity.

“The campaign is to specifically fund people from Norfolk to sail with the Trust and so far we have raised enough funds for about 25 berths,” he says.

The charity was established by Christopher Rudd who had taught diabled and special needs children to sail dinghies. He believed that those with physical disabilities should be able to sail as part of a crew alongside able bodied sailors and that such a project would not only benefit those taking part, but help break down wider societal prejudices.

His vision quickly gathered support and although it wasn’t easy convincing others that it was safe and sensible for disabled people to sail offshore on a tall ship, the charity has gone on to transform lives.

Trips can range from a few days to the recent record breaking ‘Sail the World’ challenge, which saw Lord Nelson travel 51,000 nautical miles. Around 1000 people were part of the ship’s crew, 350 of whom had a physical disability.

Young Norfolk businessman Scott Warman took part in a JST voyage when he was 21 and it proved a life changing experience.

“We crossed the Atlantic and didn’t see land for 21 days. It’s the best thing I have done in my life. I vividly remember watching a blind 70-year-old man climb the rigging and thinking ‘if he can do that, I can do anything.’ It made me think about what I was doing and helped me to realise what I could achieve.”

For more information about how to raise funds for the appeal or to donate see www.jst.org.uk.

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