Main Menu
Two Crew Members Manning Helm with Adventure Under Sail

Youth Development Fund 2021 Successful Applicants Announced

February 17, 2021

Sail Training International is pleased to announce the successful applicants of the Youth Development Fund for 2021…

Launched in 2019, the Youth Development Fund aims to encourage the development of effective Sail Training programmes for young people from disadvantaged social backgrounds. It supports organisations – preferably non-profit – to deliver Sail Training programmes that will reach young people from a range of backgrounds and offer one or more of the following:

  • Improve trainees’ personal, social, or educational development
  • Enhance international friendship and understanding
  • Demonstrate replicable models of innovation and good practice in Sail Training

The funding also aims to achieve one or more of the following:

  • Increase the number of young people participating in Sail Training, particularly those who enjoy fewer opportunities
  • Encourage a structured approach to the management and outcomes of sail training programmes
  • Encourage effective partnerships between sail training operators and other agencies/partners/organisations working with young people over the long term and provide credible evidence of how far the stated outcomes have been achieved


  • Aporvela ‘Mare Liberum’ – £5,000
  • CatZero ‘CatZero Youth Futures’ – £6,000
  • Offshore “Maritime Careers Pathways Project’ – £8,000
  • OYT South ‘OYT South / MACS Partnership’ – £4,000
  • Vela Tradizionale ‘Sail on with Traditions’ – £2,000


Portugal’s Sail Training Association, Aporvela, organises the ‘Mare Liberum’ programme. This is a project that partners with artistic planning organisation, Cusca, and youth detention centres in Portugal. The aim of the programme is to inspire young people serving sentences through a one-day Sail Training voyage. Following each voyage, participants then draw upon their experiences to create a theatre production.

Aporvela are working with three youth detention centres and taking young people on a Sail Training onboard the Class B Tall Ship, Vera Cruz. Following the voyage they will embark on creative writing lessons, theatre workshops and will write and perform a play that includes the sea and a Tall Ship as background.


UK Sail Training organisation CatZero organises the ‘CatZero Youth Futures’ programme. They receive funding for the developmental programme which works with disadvantaged young people from the Humber region and aims to help them learn key skills for personal growth and development.

The project will see 12 young people identified as NEET (not in employment, education or training) who live in deprived areas of the Humber region in the north east of the UK. Participants will engage in creating a programme of activities to help build resilience, confidence and new relationships.

The programme will conclude with participants taking part in a nine-day voyage on the challenge class yacht, CatZero. This intensive sailing experience will help each young person test the personal development qualities, social disciplines and self-control mechanisms gained during the programme.


Offshore’s ‘Maritime Careers Pathways Project’ will take young people from East Anglia, who are not able to access higher education, on a 20-day sailing programme. The tailor-made Sail Training voyage will help them access specific marine based career training or direct employment upon completion.

Each participant in the programme will be allocated a Youth Mentor who will follow their progress through the project, with periods at sea taking place on board Offshore’s purpose-built Oyster 49 yachts. Trainees will undertake RYA Competent Crew and Watch Leader courses before taking part in an approx. 400 nm nonstop passage.

Following the project, participants will hold two RYA accredited certificates, have been assessed against standardised criteria and provided with a comprehensive reference. They will then be mentored for 12 months following the project to assist with finding employment or accessing further maritime training.

Ocean Youth Trust South

Ocean Youth Trust South organise the ‘OYT South/MACS Partnership’ project. The partnership aims to promote the development of visually impaired young people who have been particularly affected by the impact of COVID-19 lockdowns.

Working with MACS (Microphthalmia, Anophthalmia and Coloboma Support) – the UK’s national charity for children born without eyes or with underdeveloped eyes – Ocean Youth Trust South will take 12-15 young people on a seven-day voyage.

Throughout the voyage, participants will be sailing as active crew members involved with sail handling, steering, watch-keeping, navigation and galley duties, with support from Ocean Youth Trust South staff and volunteers.

Vela Tradizionale

Italian not-for-profit organisation, Vela Tradizionale, have received funding for their ‘Sail on with Traditions’ programme. The initiative will take six young people on five days of coastal sailing through the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Using Class B schooner Pandora, the series of day sails will take young people with autism spectrum disorder from a range of backgrounds through the Tyrrhenian Sea. The aim of the project is to help participants to practice group engagement and develop self-confidence.

We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of submissions for this year’s Youth Development Fund. Other valuable applications were received from the following organisations:

  • Adventure Under Sail
  • Andromeda
  • Atyla
  • Jubilee Sailing Trust
  • Ocean Youth Trust North
  • Sail Training Association Denmark
  • Sail Training Association Estonia
  • Sail Training Association Finland
  • Sail Training Ireland
  • Sea Change Sailing Trust
  • Sea Sanctuary
  • Statsraad Lehmkuhl
  • Tall Ships Youth Trust
  • The Sørlandet Foundation
  • Turismo NatRual

Supporting Sail Training Around the world

Sail Training International works closely with the world’s sail training Tall Ships, national sail training organisations and host ports to help young people benefit from the sail training experience. In addition, we regularly organise seminars, fund research and publications relating to the benefits of experiential learning through sail training to young people, and much more.

Every year we continue to be moved, motivated and inspired by the difference participating in sail training makes to young people’s lives. We see young people from all environments, and particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, grow in confidence, rise to challenges, overcome fears, make lifelong friends and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime. Some of the young people we help go on to enjoy careers in the maritime sector whilst others draw on their experience to make their way in the world with their newly acquired confidence and skills.

As we approach our 65th year in an ever changing world, we would like to invite individuals and organisations who believe in young people and whose values resonate with ours to support the work we do.


Support Our Mission

Help us to continue our vital work.

The adventure starts here

Visit our sail on board site to go sail training