The. RSYC Trust is the Club’s charity arm which places young people at the centre of all it does.

The charity was established in 2016 to promote the advancement of amateur sport, in particular the provision of facilities and equipment, including the awarding of grants to enable and encourage participation in sailing and associated activities for the benefit of the public in the south of England.

A small group of trustees, ably led by Graham Tracey, and chaired by past Commodore Brian Hinde, meet regularly throughout the year to plan and coordinate on-the-water activities for young people at a range of waterside locations in Southampton and at Gins.

Young people focus

While the children and grandchildren of members are encouraged to contact us and take part in a wide range of activities, the charity has focused on providing a learning and fun experience for young carers.

Many young carers have a tough time supporting members of their family, often juggling school work, looking after siblings and their parents just to get by, so the RSYC Trust provides a special time for them, when they can learn a new skill like sailing or paddle boarding, develop team and communication skills and sometimes get a bit wet too.

Summer programme

Throughout the summer we offer a range of different activities to suit young people at all stages of confidence in and around the water. For example we run sailing taster sessions for complete beginners, and many your carers who first joined us in 2016 have developed their sailing skills and moved on to the RYA Youth Sailing Scheme.

The RYA Sailing Scheme has provided to be a big hit with over 45 young carers achieving RYA certification between stages 1 to 4. One of our aims is to build on this success and support many more youngsters to work through the scheme.

During August we will be running three Young Carer Family Days at Gins – on Tuesday 27 July, Wednesday 11 August, and Tuesday 24 August. The days are designed to give young people a well-earned break and greater confidence on the water. Activities include sailing, kayaking, paddle boarding , raft building, river trips and crabbing. The young carers are invited to bring family members to watch the action and to enjoy a picnic on the banks of the Beaulieu River at Gins.

Sponsorship, grants and bequests

Offering these sorts of opportunities, complete with life jackets, wet suits, paddle boards and dinghies is made possible by our strong focus on sponsorship, grants and other forms of external funding.

Trustees regularly apply for local and national grants and awards: the more income we are able to attract, the more activities and experiences we can offer. For example during 2020 we were able to obtain 6 paddle boards through a grant from The Skipton Building Society. Earlier this year we  benefited from a significant donation which was made to remember Stephen Parry, our late Rear Commodore Sailing, and who was a great supporter of youth and Solent events.

This year, working in conjunction with the Classis Young Sailors Foundation (CYSF) and The Island Trust, with their generous support in the form of bursaries, we have also been able to send two young people on a one week, financially supported, experience of a lifetime, on board a replica Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter, which is going to take part in the 2021 Classic Channel Regatta.

In 2021 we have applied for several grants from local voluntary sector funders and at the end of July learned that the Trust has been awarded £2,021 by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation. This is great news and means that we will be able to purchase additional equipment and fund more young careers to take part in the RYA Sailing Scheme courses, which are proving very popular.

If you work with an organisation that has a heart, and maybe a social responsibility/charity budget heading, or would like to make provision for a donation or bequest, please talk to us.

RSYC 50/50 draw

The Club’s own monthly draw is an excellent way to support the RSYC Trust and has recently re-launched. The draw is easy to join, with payment by Direct Debit and the rules are simple: 50% of the monthly pot goes to the lucky winner and 50% to the Commodore’s charity, which is of course the RSYC Trust.

Tickets cost £5 each (you can pay for more than one per month if you choose). Just email gm@rsyc.org.uk. Joining today means that you can be part of the next draw. You can choose to opt-in or opt-out at any time (the full rules are on the website).

Next time you are asked to contribute to a charity, please think of the RSYC Trust and consider joining the 50/50 monthly draw (you have a fair chance of winning half the monthly pot over the next 12 months!

Instructors and volunteers

You can imagine that running on the water activities requires on this scale requires endless planning, risk assessments, DBS checks, a well-equipped first aid kit and unflappable volunteers and RYA qualified instructors. This is true, but the benefits far outweigh the costs.

If you are an RYA instructor or have youth work experience or are qualified to drive a powerboat/safety support boat and would like to volunteer, please contact graham_tracey@hotmail.co.uk