About Tall Ship Youth Trust

As one of the world’s oldest sail training charities, the Tall Ships Youth Trust’s mission is to enable young people aged 12-25 years to fulfil their life potential through experiences at sea and by breaking down the barriers they face in society. We strive to enable young people to “Sea Beyond Their Horizons”, regardless of their background and any difficulties they may have encountered before they come to us.

We operate nationally, providing voyages all year round, offering young people the chance to develop life skills, build self-esteem, embrace a healthier more active lifestyle and get involved in volunteering. In 2018/19, we gave over 850 youngsters a life-changing experience; 80% of them told us so. Of these young people, 78% were either disadvantaged or disabled – facing so many challenges – including learning difficulties, hearing or visual impairment, as well as behavioural and emotional or social difficulties. Many were also young carers, young offenders or not in employment, education or training (NEET).

Our experience tells us that disadvantaged young people often feel excluded and lack the self-esteem and confidence to reach their potential, whether at home or in their local communities. We know that they need to be given new challenges, as well as the support and respect to be able to demonstrate their true capabilities. Our voyages bring together a complete cross-section of young people to work and live in a unique, physically and mentally challenging sea-going residential environment. Activities include setting and stowing sails, helming, rope work, navigation, meteorology, repairing and maintaining equipment, cooking and cleaning. Support to the voyagers is provided by highly professional crew and trained volunteers.

The crew fully involve all the young people, getting them to focus on what they can do as opposed to what they cannot do, creating opportunities for success, building self-esteem and helping them to realise their full potential. Young people are respected and valued for their individual contributions, providing an incredibly positive learning experience.  After a week at sea with us, their lives have literally been transformed.

We often work in partnership with third-party youth organisations who refer their young people to us. The benefit of working in this way is that is that the young people will be receiving additional mentoring outside of our work. Our voyages are well respected by educational professionals and youth workers alike. For example, the outcome of a 2-year project for 80 unemployed young people saw an exceptional 97% of the young people taking part going into employment, education or training within 6 months of the project’s completion and TSYT voyages were seen as the key catalyst for improving young people’s skills and attitudes.

Colin Hay, Senior Youth Manager: “After 20 years in youth work, I thought I’d seen it all, but we built a level of trust and engagement with the young people during the voyage that would have taken 6 months to achieve on land. Within 4 months of the voyage 8 of the 9 had gone into jobs, apprenticeships or college. Amazing!”

Beneficial outcomes are measured (by the voyagers and their guardians) and demonstrate that we significantly help them to reach their true potential:

  • 85% of young people report improved team working
  • 85% report improved communication skills
  • 83% said they are now able to manage their feelings better
  • 82% report increased confidence and self-esteem
  • 79% report improved problem solving skills

Last year, approximately 14% of young people were invited to return to train and sail again as a member of the volunteer crew. This offered them the chance to support other young people and work towards nationally accredited maritime qualifications, which can often lead to a career at sea or in the maritime industry.


Our brand values are Adventure, Inclusion and Excellence. We believe the nature of our organisation and facilities means we can build a relationship with you which goes far beyond a conventional transactional charity sponsorship deal.

Whilst there are a wide variety of mutually beneficial brand enhancement opportunities, we also believe Petrofac staff could engage with us in a number of exciting ways; personal development voyages,  exec team-building and leadership training, expert volunteering, support in kind, and fundraising. For example:

  • We could include your branding on our website, relevant collateral, and in our social media activities.
  • With agreed terms:
    • Utilise our vessels for Learning and Development voyages
    • Team-building/Leadership voyages for your execs/young talent on board our vessels
    • Sponsor a berth (or berths) on one of our vessels  
    • Add your branding to the hull and sails on (one or more of) our vessels
  • Sponsor a voyage for young people from your local area, or area of your choice
  • Invite your staff to come and meet some of the young people benefiting from your support (before and after the voyages so you can see for yourself what a huge difference you are making).
  • Offer your staff a variety of volunteering and sail training opportunities all year round.


Your partnership with us could take many forms, but as a thriving charity, we are looking to you for support with brand awareness, income generation, help in kind, and ‘expert volunteering’.  We have suggested some options below.

Staff Engagement

We have many opportunities available for any members of staff who wish to volunteer with the Trust, in both our Central Office in Portsmouth, and on the vessels (i.e. routine husbandry and maintenance). Any staff wishing to volunteer for us on a voyage with young people would firstly have needed to go on a voyage of 4 nights or more where they will receive a recommendation to return to train and sail again as a member of the volunteer crew. They would also need to have a DBS check (for Safeguarding purposes).

We would love your staff to volunteer and fundraise for us, and we would be delighted to promote this on social media. Any funds raised would go directly towards helping the disadvantaged young people we are here to empower.  We can also provide Executive and Staff team-building opportunities, as far afield as the Atlantic and Caribbean, by prior arrangement.

Financial Support

  • A donation of £8,400 would sponsor a week-long voyage for up to 12 young people in the UK
  • A donation of £15,000 would sponsor a berth on one of our vessels for an entire year – empowering 25 young people
  • A donation of £7,000 would enable us to purchase new sails for one of our vessels. Your logo would be displayed on the sails for 3 years (the like of the sails)
  • A donation of £5,000 would be recognized by displaying your logo on the hull of one of our vessels for 3 years.
  • £300 would provide a bursary enabling one young person to benefit from the work of the Trust.

Any funds received will enable us to continue our life-changing work with disadvantaged young people. With almost 800,000 young people currently not in employment, education or training, our work has never been more needed.

If this interests you, please contact me at richard.leaman@tallships.org  and we can talk through the options which suit your organisation best.

Thank you