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Learning to sail gives young people confidence, self-esteem and valuable skills in whichever career they choose. Where cost is a barrier, Roseland Youth Sailing Trust funds RYA sail training in primary and secondary schools in Cornwall, creating opportunities, changing lives and transforming communities.

polkerris students school sailing

Most of our lessons take place at Polkerris and Percuil.


Sailing is exciting, physical, sociable and fun.

One instructor who works with students with special eduacational needs reflected:

“The sailing lessons are having a wonderful impact on the development of the children with additional needs.  The many personal skills include working together, encouraging each other, enhancing communication skills, and developing resilience. It is wonderful to see their confidence grow!”

Tracy Boyne from Mylor Sailability.


BUT That is only half the story... it also

1) Creates opportunities

The schools we work with are in some of the most deprived communities in the UK.

Cornwall is the second poorest region in Northern Europe after West Wales

17 Cornwall neighbourhoods are among the 10% most deprived in England

Income is roughly 25% below the national average

Four in 10 employees earn below the living wage

One third of children live in poverty [1]

Some of our children live less than a mile from the coast, but had never been to the beach – and still less dreamed of going sailing – before joining our programme. 

Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, Roseland Youth Sailing Trust has opened their eyes to a new world.

[1] Sources: Eurostat, Office of National Statistics, Cornwall Community Foundation, 2017-2019

2) Changes lives

Parents and teachers – and the children themselves – tell us learning to sail has changed lives for the better.

Benefits include :

  • Increasing physical and mental well-being
  • Overcoming physical and psychological disabilities
  • Creating time and space to feel, think and act freely
  • Taking part in adventures that contribute to personal achievement
  • Boosting self-esteem and confidence
  • Fostering positive attitudes to school-work and improving classroom behaviour
  • Developing a sense of responsibility for oneself and others

While all children in the programme benefit, sailing appears to be most visibly transformative for children who struggle with school-work.

Read more about the research here

Picos on a beach

Rigging the boats on Summer Beach. 

One of 166 RYST-funded new sailors that learned to sail in 2020 despite coronavirus

3) Transforms communities

Since launching in 2015, hundreds of children have progressed through Roseland Youth Sailing Trust’s schools programme from primary to secondary level.

Now the first of our ‘graduates’ are leaving school to enter the world of work providing us with evidence of the longevity of effects produced by having regular access to fresh air.

Some of are graduates are looking to us for continued support in getting the skills and experience they need for maritime careers, for which Cornwall is famous.

We want to continue to help these young people. What could be the impact for them and their communities if we could help our ‘graduates’ get the experience, skills and qualifications needed for quality jobs in maritime and related industries?

[1] Sources: Eurostat, Office of National Statistics, Cornwall Community Foundation, 2017-2019

Find out how you can help here.

Or contact Dina Wheatcroft at