Help Your Britain - Jubilee Sailing Trust

Continuing with our Help Your Britain campaign today marks the fifth user-nominated charity to be showcased on Bing. We’ll be showcasing the work of a small UK charity on the last Friday of each month enabling the cause to tell its own story.

There are more than 187,000 registered charities across Great Britain with a story to be told, many of whom will never be heard due to the lack of resources at their disposal. We’re shining the spotlight on these unsung British heroes as part of a long-term campaign, enabling you, the British public, to nominate the charities you would like to see featured on the homepage on the final Friday of each month via

Today is the turn of …


Relying on voluntary donations, the Jubilee Sailing Trust subsidises tall ship sailing adventures on two specially designed ships – the Lord Nelson and the Tenacious. Each voyage can accommodate 40 people, and every member is given a vital role to play, irrespective of ability, disability, age or gender. Since the Jubilee Sailing Trust was established in 1978 over 37,000 people have sailed with them. Of these, approximately 17,000 were disabled and 5,000 were wheelchair users.


JUNE, 2012.

Today is the Voyage crew change day. I get up at 7am and the first thing I do is have a look at the weather forecast, then I look out of the window and see if what is outside matches the forecast! Then I check out whether there have been any incidents during the night’s anchor watches, before joining the rest of my team for breakfast.
After breakfast, we have a ‘morning meeting’ by the mainmast to sort out the plan for the day. The Voyage crew are packing their bags as they will depart from ship soon after we arrive in dock. We then get the ship under way, winching the anchor up and, if we have time, setting some sails for the last time as we head back into port. There’s a lot of cleaning going on at this point too, getting the ship ready for the new incoming crew.
Meanwhile, I go through my emails and send the daily report to our office. I also contact the arrival port so that we can have a pilot, while also making other arrangements for coming in, alongside our berth. When we get there I manoeuvre the ship and turn her so she points outwards, which makes it easier when we leave for the next voyage. I pick a Voyage crew to steer the ship alongside. The crew love doing that and simply need to follow my instructions, turning the wheel a specified number of points to port or starboard. Once alongside, we land our gangway; it’s a bit bigger than conventional ones so it’s wide enough for wheelchair users.
Then I get everybody together to debrief on what happened during the voyage talking through where we went and what we did. I remind the Voyage crew that they all made it all happen, that they were there as crew not passengers, and that it was their efforts and teamwork that brought the ship safely to her destination. I might also mention someone who has done especially well during the trip, perhaps someone scared of heights who decided to climb the mast, or a disabled person who steered the ship and pulled on ropes that they had not thought possible before boarding the ship. We also reflect on the fun we’ve had and the friends we’ve made during the week and say our fond farewells, making promises to meet up again soon.
Lunch follows soon after that and then the paperwork and preparation for the next trip begins. Soon after, stores arrive on board, which include boxes and boxes of food. We do a lot of eating on our ships – ensuring that no one ever goes hungry! This afternoon we also have a reception on board, where we introduce potential donors, supporters and new organisations to the ship, giving them a guided tour while demonstrating what we can offer.
In the evening I have dinner with my team, and then phone home to see how my family are doing. I do some more paperwork (which is what I ran away to sea to avoid!) and some planning for future voyages. I get the charts out and look at where we’re going over the next few days, sending some emails to see where berths are available at different ports.
I also do some walk rounds for new staff arriving on board, which can take over an hour. At some stage I collapse in a chair, read a book and go to bed. I need to get a good sleep ready to start again next day with a brand new Voyage crew and make sure they, too, have a great week on board like the last lot.

If you would like to see your charity of choice take over the Bing homepage, you can nominate them here: Don’t forget to get involved with the conversation on Facebook and Twitter #HelpYourBritain

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