With funding from Whirlwind we were able to take six young people from Alfreton Park Community Special School on a 56 mile voyage in the Solent.  The young people came to us with conditions including Global Development Delay, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy etc. and many of them need carers for basic tasks such as washing and dressing. Nevertheless, it is always fantastic to see how much they achieved on board, sometimes surprising their carers by their ability to take an active part in the sailing

During the week the children enthusiastically involved themselves in hoisting sails, steering, preparing meals and even helping with navigation.  They benefitted enormously in terms of their confidence and social skills by being given the chance to take part in a week-long residential, living with others in an unfamiliar environment.

With thanks to a donation from Whirlwind, Wild Elements will deliver another A Day in the Life of a Marine Ecologist project following a highly successful pilot in 2019. The project which will take place on North-West Wales beaches aims to engage approximately 220 children and 20 adults from local primary schools and Pupil Referral Units.

The hands-on sessions endeavour to increase knowledge, understanding and appreciation of marine ecology, natural hazards, biodiversity and conservation through a range of activities, experiments and games. Thanks to a donation from Whirlwind, local children and adults will enjoy new positive learning experiences and connect to the beach, wildlife, the sea and each other.

City of Bristol Rowing Club has a firm commitment to inclusion, and it’s long been the club’s wish to make junior membership a possibility for any child, regardless of income.  Now, thanks to the kind generosity of Whirlwind, from 2022 the club will be offering financial support to children who need it.  As well as developing their skills in rowing, we also believe that the sport will help the children to grow in confidence, develop their team work skills and improve their performance at school. The club is truly excited to be able to make rowing, and all the joy that it brings, a possibility for more children across Bristol.

The 2020 programme of Portsmouth Sail Training Trust will reach 120 young people from disadvantaged communities in Portsmouth. The year-long programme provides opportunities for young people who are disengaged or struggling in a traditional academic environment to experience maritime training both through sailing and power boat sessions.  They will work towards RYA qualifications such as Keelboat, Powerboat and Day skipper levels as well as First Aid and engine Maintenance. All of the young people participating receive mentoring from the PSTT volunteers and ‘Graduates’ of our programme exhibit increased confidence, improved self-awareness, increased aspirations and improved teamwork. All life skills which help them to re-engage with education and access employment opportunities in the marine sector.

 The donation from Whirlwind Charitable Trust will provide 5 fully funded spaces for one academic year for young people between the ages of 11-18.

Centre 81’s members really look forward to their time on the water. Sailing offers our members, many of them wheelchair users, a sense of freedom they never thought possible, and they are able to experience the thrill of the Broads in a safe environment with the support of patient, kind, encouraging people. We like to provide as many of our skills and activities centre members as possible with the opportunity to sail, as we know how much they love the experience.

Thank you to the Whirlwind Charitable Trust from everyone at Centre 81 for helping to make this happen.

CHICKS provides free respite breaks for children from desperately disadvantaged backgrounds. They may be experiencing poverty, abuse, domestic violence, bereavement and housing issues.  Thanks to the Whirlwind Charitable Trust, these children are able to enjoy a fantastic water sports adventure! Since this is usually the first time many of the young people have had this opportunity it has a huge impact – here are some quotes from recent water rafting activities:

 “It was a new experience – it’s 10/10!”

 “It was my best part of the week!”

  “Getting a child who was afraid of the water into a raft and then have him ask me to jump in the water with him – it was an unforgettable moment” (Break Volunteer)

Every sailing season, Sea Cadets offers young people a chance to go on an exhilarating adventure sailing around the coasts of the UK. The challenging and immersive environment of Sea Cadets’ Offshore Voyages is a splendid way of getting young people to work as a team, communicate and take responsibility. The experience and the characteristics gained could last a lifetime and can prepare them for whatever challenges life throws at them. As income often decides what experiences a young person can have, life building adventures such a this can exclude the marginalised in our society. Thanks to the Whirlwind Charitable Trust, 35 young people from low-income backgrounds can take part in this amazing journey. An adventure that would leave a lifelong impression.

Ocean Youth Trust South offers sailing voyages as a personal development opportunity for young people aged 11-25 from the widest possible variety of backgrounds – many of them disadvantaged and vulnerable – to develop things like confidence, teamworking and resilience. Our vessel Prolific has a fire pump which doubles as a bilge pump, and is an essential item of safety equipment; but it is old and increasingly unreliable, and spare parts are often not available. Thanks to a donation from Whirlwind, we can buy and fit a new fire pump which will help ensure safe sailing for hundreds of young people for many years to come.

Disability doesn’t always mean inability. HCUK promotes inclusive sailing for all, rewarding everyone physically, mentally and socially, welcoming everyone to the wonderful world of sailing, encouraging disabled people to take on this challenge. Sailing has an enriching and positive impact on the many disabled people who enjoy the advantages and benefits of this stimulating sport. Many disabled sailors would like to take part in sailing events but are unable to do so, either because they don’t own a boat, or don’t have the means to transport a borrowed ‘club’ boat. With support from Whirlwind we have set up a fully-equipped Mobile Support Unit that we can take to events throughout the UK, to provide the essential resources to enjoy sailing.

I wanted to start by thanking you for your generous contribution to fund swimming lessons for our students. The funding is already making a real difference.

To date, the first group have just completed their lessons, and they’ve made really great progress in the pool. During the initial lessons in February, it was clear that very few of the students could swim at all, and many found it distressing to be in the water. After just over 4 months, 100% of the students are totally comfortable in the water, and most are able to swim unaided. However, not only have they learnt to swim, but they’ve loved every minute of being in the pool. unlike here in the UK where attending a weekly swimming lesson might seem like a bit of a chore, in Ghana the kids relish being able to get in the water and have some fun while learning. It’s a break from the norm, and a chance to participate in an activity that very few people get to do.

The Excelsior Trust formed in 1983 to take on the restoration and maintenance of Excelsior, an historic Lowestoft Sailing Trawler.  Today she provides a unique sailing experience to disadvantaged young people aged 13-18 which is challenging and unfamiliar to them, away from their everyday life.

When young people board Excelsior they enter another world, a world of adventure and challenge. They have a real task to complete: they have to become a crew member and their ship has to sail safely to a stated destination and back within a set period of time.  Young people develop new skills, make new friends, see new places and conquer their fears and anxieties.  It is with thanks to The Whirlwind Charitable Trust for their continued support.


Our 2019 Residential Project will run for five weeks during the summer holidays, providing a total of 150 disadvantaged children from Merseyside with a break from challenging home lives. Through participating in a structured programme of activities that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to access, with support from trained volunteers, children will increase their confidence and self-esteem, make friends, and develop positive memories upon which they can subsequently reflect.

We are very grateful to Whirlwind Charitable Trust for providing funding for 15 ‘Young Helpers’ – trained former service users, aged 14-17 – to volunteer on Residential Project in 2019. The opportunity to take on real responsibility in a supported environment will enable them to develop skills, increase confidence and aspirations, and gain experience to support applications to jobs, training or further study.

Key4Life delivers innovative programmes to young men who are at risk of offending, or soon to be released from prison. Validated by the MoJ, the programme uses Emotional Resilience, employability, mentoring and ongoing support. Key4Life participants are four times more likely to be in employment one year post-release and half as likely to reoffend than non-participants.


This donation from Whirlwind allows us to deliver Equine Facilitated Learning to participants on our HMP Brixton programme and Bristol and London ‘At Risk’ programmes (weekly workshops in Somerset as well as in prison and in the community). Equine Facilitated Learning builds self-respect, boundaries, confidence and provides a new experience for participants, primarily through exercises on the ground as well as some horse riding.

Disabled teenagers are often isolated and lonely, excluded from taking part in mainstream activities and youth groups.

With the support of a grant from the Whirlwind Charitable Trust, disabled young people with all ranges of impairments and care needs will take part in exciting outdoor activities at Lodge Hill Activity Centre. These days out will be provided through Challengers youth schemes, where highly trained youth workers will provide 1:1 and 2:1 care for any young person who needs it.

Thanks to Whirlwind, disabled young people will be encouraged to experience something new, push their personal boundaries, and most importantly have an amazing time with their friends.

Groups of young people from a range of backgrounds including those with special educational needs, experiencing deprivation, social exclusion or other disadvantage join us as members of their care groups for five days residentially at sea aboard a Thames sailing barge.

Those who have shown enthusiasm or merit are invited to return as individuals, independently of their group to embed initial benefits gained and embark on traditional sail training. This is known as our Youth Sailing Scheme and can, over time, lead to maritime careers. We are grateful to Whirlwind for contributing towards our bursary fund, which is essential to enable most of our clients to join us.


The Secchi Disk study is the largest, global marine citizen science study conducted by seafarers The donation from Whirlwind will enable a complete renewal of the iOS Secchi application to help seafarers submit the data they have collected to the Secchi Disk study’s database. The aim of the Secchi Disk study, which is now in its 7th year, is to engage seafarers to help compile a time series of the oceans’ phytoplankton so that we can better understand this important marine life. The study is open to all ages and provides a great educational opportunity while at sea, in addition to the collection of valuable and unique, scientific data.

Sportability aims to put the “buzz” back into the lives of people with paralysis, let them experience the
elusive adrenaline rush, to empower through achievement and ultimately to inspire the thought “If I can
do this, what else can I achieve?”

Last year we offered over 800 completely free places for people with paralysis across 67 events in 13
regions around the UK. Of these, 23 were multi-sport days which offered two or three activities within
one event

Thanks to a donation from Whirlwind, we’ll be able to provide full programme in one of those regions.
That’s around 100 people with paralysis going quadbiking, gliding, sailing, shooting, canoeing, microlight
flying, and many more.

2019 is Vision of Adventure’s first year of operating independently. We are excited to be running 14 courses and events for our visually impaired participants. Its really hard for visually impaired adults to find opportunities to pursue activities at a level beyond the beginner/ Introductory level. We are delighted to be able to work with people to develop them as climbers, cavers and canoeists. Thanks to support from the Whirlwind Trust, 6 visually impaired climbers and 5 visually impaired canoeists will be able to build their skills and independence in these sports. They will receive support before and after their courses to help them get the most from the experience.

The Voyage of Discovery scheme is an essential aspect of Cirdan’s work which focuses on providing a service for disadvantaged young people.  The young people and few special needs adults who participate in Cirdan’s Voyage of Discovery aboard it’s small fleet of off-shore sailing vessels face disadvantage in their lives.  This mainly relates to social deprivation and special needs but also includes exclusion from mainstream education and society and other forms of vulnerability.

Through the active involvement and challenge of life at sea, the young people learn about themselves, develop an acceptance of others, a willingness to take controlled risks, discover hidden strengths and talents and an understanding of the value of working as a team.

The generosity of the Whirlwind Charitable Trust plays a valuable and much appreciated part in helping Cirdan provide this life changing experience to members of society who most need it.

Venture Trust works with vulnerable and disadvantaged young people and adults within some of Scotland’s most marginalised communities to enable them to achieve a better future.

Venture Trust’s Living Wild project offers support to people with a history of involvement in the criminal justice system.  The project enables participants to address underlying issues, discover new skills and get their lives back on track. At Living Wild’s heart is a Wilderness Journey.  10 days of wild camping, canoeing, walking, abseiling and intensive personal support. Participants gain confidence and learn to see themselves in a new light, set achievable goals and make plans for a better future.

Funding from Whirlwind Charitable Trust will support a life changing Wilderness Journey for 11 participants in 2019.

Seashell Trust supports children and young people with complex learning disabilities and additional communication needs from across the UK.

We believe that incredible life experiences should be made available to our students and for  this reason, we take 25 College Students aged 19 – 25 years on a 3 day, 2 night activity break to the outdoor adventure centre at Bendrigg Trust.

The donation from Whirlwind Trust has enabled 5 of our severely disabled students to attend the Activity Break providing them with the opportunity to undertake new challenges, discover new skills, interests and aspirations and provide positive characters building experiences.

Endeavour is working with extremely marginalized young people who have very few opportunities to make their lives better.  We use water based activities as a platform to develop their personal skills.  By participating in canoeing and kayaking, young people build their self-esteem through a sense of achievement “Wow, I got across the lake, fantastic!” and build resilience if achievement is attained after several failed attempts “I’m glad I kept trying, and now I did it – great”.  The key focus is to ensure they understand how to transfer these feelings of achievement into other areas of their life such as continuing to pursue education and get qualifications even if not succeeding on first attempt, and not to give up when rejected in job applications.  This also offers the chance of just enjoying a fun activity and building friendships.


At Horizons we provide learning and educational opportunities for young people with additional needs. We aim to increase self-confidence and improve social and practical skills, through water-based activities that would normally be beyond the means of these children.

Local primary school children have opportunity to learn about their maritime heritage and history through our schools project and we also run an evening and weekend sailing club which gives local young people the chance to learn to sail in the amazing areas of the River Tamar and Plymouth Sound.

Whirlwind’s donation will cover mooring fees for our 4 Hawk 20 keelboats and 2 safety boats for a whole season, and is a real help covering our core costs.. Our boats are used 6 days a week, March-Nov.

With funding from Whirlwind we were able to take six young people from Alfreton Park Community Special School on a 56 mile voyage in the Solent.  The young people came to us with conditions including Global Development Delay, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy etc. and many of them need carers for basic tasks such as washing and dressing. Nevertheless, it is always fantastic to see how much they achieved on board, sometimes surprising their carers by their ability to take an active part in the sailing

During the week the children enthusiastically involved themselves in hoisting sails, steering, preparing meals and even helping with navigation.  They benefitted enormously in terms of their confidence and social skills by being given the chance to take part in a week-long residential, living with others in an unfamiliar environment.

Thanks to a generous grant from Whirlwind we ran a week-long sailing trip for ten MACS, blind and visually impaired young people in August 2018.  We sailed a total of 203 miles around the Devon coast.

Every sailor attained their competent crew certificate, learning to sail the boat, make knots, talk to the coastguard and plot a chart in addition to practical cooking and cleaning skills.

We used the outcomes wheel, developed by Children in Need and the Prince’s Trust to measure our results and saw a marked change from the start to the end results, with overall scores for all the young people moving forward by nearly 15%.  The most significant differences were improvements in: compromise and negotiation when living with different people, coping with new experiences and dealing with setbacks.

During June and July 2018 Treloar’s will take over 40 students sailing out of Port Solent on the accessible catamaran, Spirit of Scott Bader. The experience of sailing stretches our students by opening up a new environment which is very different from school, college or home.  Memories of the day trips can remain with students for a lifetime.

Students benefit from pursuing a new activity which delivers opportunities for personal development, and a rare chance to take part in outward-bound activities.  Some students go on to pursue further sailing and watersports activities.  Treloar School and College students and staff thank Whirlwind Charitable Trust for the donation to support the costs of these exciting sailing trips.

We are completing the build of a new engine-less steel sailing barge that will deliver cargoes to wharves and other landings entirely under sail. Therefore, we are expanding our traditional work with deprived and disadvantaged young people and devising appropriate training courses in readiness.

Whirlwind has generously offered us the support we need to start training young people who have expressed interest in becoming experienced crew, qualified mates and skippers to form a future career progression ladder. Training will include maintenance experience and lead to employment opportunities in the traditional maritime sector. To this end we will be running 2 residential courses at sea this summer of 5 days for up to 12 people each.

Oarsome Chance is a ground-breaking charity that aims to bring about change for disadvantaged young people in the Portsmouth, Gosport and Havant areas by using the powerful combination of maritime sports with vocational training.

Young people aged 9-19 years on the Oarsome Chance educational programmes are often disengaged from mainstream education. The vocational training we provide – which includes boat building and canvas skills along with on-the-water activities – delivers fantastic benefits that help them connect to a brighter future.

Thanks to a donation from The Whirlwind Charitable Trust, a group of our young people will have the opportunity to gain squib keelboat sail training and take part in the National Squib Association 50th Anniversary Regatta at Cowes Week.


Since 2011 this unique and exciting programme has provided visually impaired adults with the opportunity to take part in adventurous activities, including climbing, cycling, caving and triathlon training. These challenging courses are often life changing, building independence and self-confidence as new skills are honed in a fun way through immersion in the outdoors.

Participants make new friends and become regulars on these courses as there is nothing comparative on offer for adults in the UK. This year’s donation from Whirlwind will be used to fund 6 participants (+ their volunteer guides) to spend a weekend canoeing and another 4 (+ guides) to attend a week-long expedition off the south coast living on a 40ft yacht and learning to sail.

HRCST is extending its existing water-sports tuition to a group of young people who have a range of learning disabilities. The course will deliver 14 sailing/watersports sessions.

Whilst already working with SEND schools for young people, we established the need for extending the water-sports sessions to older SEND children, due to the demand we have for these courses.

We have adapted our sessions to be very accessible and structured, enabling children and young people of varying disabilities to make progress over the course of 14 weeks and so achieve their personal goals.

This grant from WCT will cover the additional costs of our RYA accredited Sailing Instructors, as a higher teacher:student ratio is required for these sessions.

Dynamic Moves, our 2018 climbing programme for local families with limited economic means, is moving forward thanks to support from the Whirlwind Charitable Trust.  Here in Upper Clydesdale, there is a real, unmet need for healthy recreational activities that are available to parents and their children.  This project will enable Wiston Lodge to purchase crucial climbing equipment and to hold three courses for local families.

This initiative will not only teach our visitors about the basics of climbing but will help enhance important core life skills that will help them in their day-to-day lives.  Approximately 30 parents and children will have the opportunity to engage in a fun, challenging educational activity that will help them grow together.

Imagine the thrill of riding a pony for a young person who can feel and hear but has no sight, or of sailing a dinghy fast on a sunny breezy day when you are normally limited to the speed of your wheelchair.

With the help and support of trained instructors and support staff, these exciting and exhilarating activities encourage greater independence, improve social skills and confidence and also provide great therapeutic benefits, helping to improve movement, balance and mobility. They are of course also great fun.

These fantastic activities have been made possible for around 50 visually impaired young people at WESC Foundation, thanks to a donation by the Whirlwind Charitable Trust.

Reg charity no 1058937

“I can enjoy myself with people I haven’t met before.”

Thanks to funding from The Whirlwind Charitable Trust, MACS can take 11 young people on a sailing adventure from Ipswich to Southampton.

MACS conditions are incurable. For many the absence of eyes is linked to brain development and they may also have learning difficulties and behavioural problems. MACS children are disadvantaged by their visual impairment, but also by facial disfigurement.

Taking a MACS child on a sailing trip is a life-changing experience. They learn teamwork, independence and communication. The children also achieve new skills: plotting points on charts, filling in the ships log, calculating distances and communicating with the Coast Guard.

“I was able to contribute towards group tasks.”

Our 2017 ‘Spirit of Adventure’ project for adults with a visual impairment has been expanded and developed year on year with our beneficiaries at its heart. Adults with a disability do not have the same opportunities as others to take part in adventurous activities due to the specialist equipment, expertise and staffing levels required.

Thanks to a grant from The Whirlwind Charitable Trust, this year we can support two sailing courses – teaching six visually impaired adults and two sighted guides navigation, seamanship skills and working towards an RYA recognised qualification. This grant also supports ‘taster’ weekends for 10 visually impaired adults where participants can try a variety of other adventurous activities, such as caving and climbing, that they never thought possible.

Thanks to the generosity of The Whirlwind Charitable Trust, we will provide day sails and two residential voyages to disadvantaged young people from Plymouth. Sailing is an excellent platform for the development of personal and practical skills.

This project will engender a ‘sense of place’ in a community that, despite living in a maritime city, sometimes fails to engage with the sea. The voyages will encourage young people to understand the opportunities that the marine/maritime sector presents and to appreciate the need for the conservation of the marine environment.

The young people will steer the boat, raise the sails and anchor and help with domestic tasks on board. They will experience the joy and challenge of a life at sea.

Sea-Change works to educate young people and vulnerable adults through sailing aboard a Thames sailing barge, developing their physical, mental and social capabilities so they may grow to full maturity as individuals and members of society with, in many cases, their conditions of life improved.

Whirlwind is kindly supporting two separate groups with whom we shall be working this autumn, 2017.

The first will provide seagoing experience to ten pupils attending the London Nautical School and considering maritime careers. They will spend five days aboard under sail.

The second will support several days at sea for two groups of ten from the London-based Single Homeless Project. Following the success of a highly successful pilot project, they have been identified as likely to benefit from a similar residential sailing experience.

Bude October Trip: an opportunity for young inner city kids to have a taste of being out of the city for a week, doing a range of activities – principally kayak surfing but also including the opportunity to surf, do nature walks, cook their own meals and learn about planning and organisation of the trip.

Most of these young people have never been outside London and could not afford such trips away but, with Whirlwind’s funding, we can substantially subsidise the trip to make it affordable to all.

Narrowboat Residential Trip: primarily for the younger members of our club who haven’t yet acquired the skills to go on our more adventurous October trip. On the narrowboat the participants will work as a team, go on nature walks to learn about the environment, and learn how to cook. For many of them, this will be their first time away from home without their parents. Whirlwind’s funding will contribute to the development of these children and their ability to do things independently.


With the support of a generous grant from Whirlwind, Ocean Youth Trust Scotland will deliver its ground breaking ‘On Course with Cashback’ programme to 288 young people over the next three years. This programme will target those young who live in some of the most deprived areas in Scotland using sail training as a catalyst for positive change. These youngsters are ‘at risk’ of falling through the system and are not in employment, education, or training. The grant from Whirlwind will specifically support two voyages for twenty young people from North Ayrshire and Midlothian in September 2017. During the voyage, the novice sailors will gain nationally accredited qualifications, learn life skills, and improve their communication and problem-solving skills.

We will be taking a group of young people aged 14-16, for a five day residential experiencing a range of outdoor learning and coastal exploration activities. Opportunities will include shelter building, fire lighting, outdoor cooking, rock pool exploration and a day at the farm. Students will be encouraged to practise independence skills and be involved with cooking their own meals etc. Without the donation from Whirlwind this opportunity would be beyond reach as student needs mean that they require small groups, appropriate activities and high levels of support. Thanks to the kind donation we will be offering twelve young people an opportunity that includes challenge and the development of personal skills. We are looking forward to offering this amazing opportunity.

Young people looking after parents and younger siblings rarely have holidays and miss out on sport, other outdoor activities and, most importantly, social interaction with their own age group. This hands-on project gives them access to an exciting and adventurous environment with new experiences and challenges.

Thanks to a donation from Whirlwind, ten additional young carers will enjoy new experiences and benefit from personal mentoring this year on a residential trip to the Lake District, with exciting activities including gorge walking, canoeing and plunge pooling. These activities help build confidence, self-esteem and skills such as team working and communication, to support young carers in every area of their lives.

Venture Trust is a Scottish-based UK charity which achieves transformational impact by delivering personal development programmes in the wilderness of Scotland and in communities – challenging people to discover their strengths, explore new ways of thinking and enabling them to see their potential differently.

Our Living Wild programme supports individuals aged 16-30 from chaotic backgrounds who experience multiple disadvantages and are engaged in the criminal justice system. We encourage them to learn the valuable life skills needed to make sustainable life changes, reduce their re-offending, and improve employment prospects.

Funding from The Whirlwind Charitable Trust has contributed to our expanding the Living Wild programme to specifically identify and support young military veterans within the criminal justice system.

CHICKS provides free, week-long respite breaks in the countryside for some of the UKs most disadvantaged children. CHICKS aims to provide these children with a break full of positivity and excitement, where they can make new friends and create happy childhood memories.

Thanks to a donation from the Whirlwind Charitable Trust, this summer, 80 disadvantaged children will be able to take part in a variety of water-based sports at a local water activities centre as part of their CHICKS experience. These children will be able to enjoy activities such as kayaking, canoeing and sailing, giving them the chance to learn new skills as well as helping the children to realise their potential and increase in confidence.

On the 4th October 2016 Hurricane Mathew, a category 4 storm, violently struck Haiti causing significant displacement across the country. Over a period of 4 months, ShelterBox distributed 2,805 Shelter Kits and Non-Food Item kits to affected households in rural communities, supporting over 14,000 people.

Having received a Shelter Kit, beneficiaries have been able to weatherproof temporary structures or make repairs to damaged homes. The materials provided by ShelterBox supported the ongoing recovery of communities. Beneficiary households also received water filters and solar lights which are important for providing immediate improvements to their lives.

Thanks to the grant from the Whirlwind Charitable Trust, 33 families now have all the tools and materials they need to start rebuilding their lives.