Since the Foundation was inaugurated in 2015 we have made over £170,000 worth of grants and helped over 50 young Islanders with more coming on line. Here are some examples of those whom we have helped:


Danieka was living at the Foyer Hostel, where she saw a poster on the wall for a UKSA employability course, which she did. She then was keen to continue at UKSA to do their Watersports Instructor Course, which is where the Foundation stepped in and paid for it. Now she is a UKSA Ambassador and  has a permanent job with them, and plans to work abroad next year. She was nominated for the High Sheriff’s youth award and received a certificate acknowledging her achievement in turning her life around.


John is 29 and works for a Will Squibb boatbuilder in St Helens. He grew up and was educated on the Island and then completed an HND in Furniture Studies (furniture making). After a spell working for a bespoke furniture business in Hertfordshire he decided to return to his island roots and worked in Cowes before starting with the boatbuilder four years ago.

For his boatbuilding job, he is limited by his lack of training in fibreglass. The Foundation agreed to fund 50% of his City & Guilds Level 3 Diploma in Marine Construction, Systems Engineering and Maintenance at Southampton City College over two years. The Foundation partnership with Red Funnel also entitled him to free travel on Red Funnel for his weekly trip to Southampton, worth more than the cost of the training. The employer is paying the other 50% and making it possible for John to have one day a week at college.. Both ill and John are delighted that with the Foundation support he is able to do this training. It has also sent a very positive message to the local boatbuilding community. .  


James is 20 and has lived on the Isle of Wight since he was 16. He attended VIth Form college for one year but did not complete his studies due to ill health.  James has lived alone on the Island from the age of 16.

The Foundation has supported James to do a Watersports Instructor course. He has done well on the course and the qualification gives him opportunities for employment and he has a conditional offer from UKSA for work over the summer. 


Ben is 22 and the eldest of a large family. He was brought up and mostly educated on the Island, completing 3 A levels and going on to Southampton Solent University. He quickly realised he wanted to do something a lot more practical, and determined on a career as a deckhand and ultimately as a workboat skipper. He had completed two basic qualifications but was finding it impossible to get any experience at sea, so he applied to the Foundation to do two further qualifications at Red Ensign to help him get started. The Foundation approved his application but also referred him to the Yarmouth Harbour Master, for further advice. From there he was referred to Seacat and has been offered a 6 week traineeship followed by a one year apprenticeship. 

The Foundation has agreed to pay him a weekly amount  towards his living and travel expenses for the duration of the trainee-ship and apprenticeship.


Lloyd is 21 and has lived on the Island all his life. Since leaving school he has spent two years working as part of a catering team.

Lloyd has recently started a two-year apprenticeship in Marine Engineering with LandRover BAR. He spends four days a week shadowing the lead engineer, and one day a week at the Maritime College in Southampton. He is very excited to have this opportunity and he has done well to secure it, but the cost of travel to and from the Isle of Wight is beyond his means on the limited salary he is earning, so he applied to the Foundation for help with this expense.

The partnerships between the Foundation and Red Funnel and Hovertravel have enabled him to have free travel on Red Funnel for the course and Hovertravel for his work at LandRover BAR in Portsmouth. 


Dan is 20 and lives in Shanklin, He has elderly grandparents on the Island and he and his mother came to live here permanently two years ago to care for them, interrupting his college course in Design Technology.

Dan has since managed to secure himself a two-year boat building apprenticeship at Composite Crafts in Medina Yard in Cowes which involves one day a week at Southampton College to study boatbuilding and engineering. This is a good opportunity for Dan to get started on a career in boat design and building. 

However he is unable to meet the cost of travelling to the mainland one day a week for the course, so without support he would not be able to make ends meet. The Foundation has awarded him a contribution to his living expenses and the partnership with Red Funnel has given him free travel to his course in Southampton.


Tom, who came to us from the Sea Cadets has successfully completed his four-month Yachtmasters course at UKSA last month and passed his Yachtmaster Offshore Qualification, funded by the Foundation. He has recently been employed on a Super Steam yacht in the Caribbean and plans to work his way up to super-yacht skipper.

‘I am once again extremely thankful for the financial support the Foundation has given me.  Without your support this qualification would have been out of reach.’


is 19 years old and lives in Cowes. She was born and educated on the Isle of Wight, and left school after  GCSEs to do a BTEC Level 3 Diploma in Sports and Outdoor Education at UKSA..  After volunteering with the Wave Project for the last two summers helping young people with special needs she decided she wanted to develop a career working with people from disadvantaged backgrounds based on maritime activities. 

She has been unsure about how to pursue this after leaving full time education and being unable to access much career guidance.

She took up the offer that the Foundation  Grants Panel made to her for advice from ASTO.  She has now decided the best way forward is to do a Yachtmaster qualification at UKSA.  Her family are not in a position to support her and although she has some savings to put towards the cost of her course, her future earnings in the charitable sector are likely to be low. The Foundation has agreed to pay a substantial portion of the course fee.


Callum is 16. He has managed to get himself on a fully-funded UKSA 18 week Watersports Instructor course but was having to borrow money to pay for his bus fare between Freshwater and Cowes every day. He applied for his bus fares and if possible a contribution to the cost of the T shirt, gilet and fleece he is supposed to have. It later emerged that his wetsuit zip has given out so he also needs to buy a second-hand wetsuit from UKSA. The Foundation agreed to pay his bus fares and to purchase a wet suit.

Callum’s UKSA Traineeship has now finished and he already has nearly all the qualifications he needs to get a job in the summer. He says "Thanks to your generosity I have been able to get everything I needed, it really has helped. Many thanks once again for all of your support.”


Lucy has passed her Watersports Instructor Course at UKSA which she completed last month. UKSA has confirmed that she will be working as an instructor there this summer.

Lucy writes:  I have recently finished the WIT course at UKSA and thoroughly enjoyed it, it was very hard work but a lot of fun.  It was very, very cold at times but well worth taking part.  I have my windsurfing instructor, my sup instructor, my 2 star in kayaking and canoeing, first aid, power boat level 2, rescue on the water.  I have almost completed my dinghy but have to retake the instructor week as I was ill and had an ankle injury, which I will do during the summer.  I have an instructor week at UKSA at the end of March before hopefully starting work at UKSA through the summer.  I would like to than the Royal Yacht Squadron for the opportunity they have given me to take part in this course and plan for the future’


George approached the Foundation for support to do a Yachtmasters Course but lacked sea-going experience to be sure this was the right route for him The Foundation arranged for him to spend 2 days working on the OYT new boat re-fit.  The full working day was a learning experience for him and he has been offered a place on a one week trip with the OYT in the summer as an opportunity to broaden his horizons. This will be funded jointly by OYT and the RYS Foundation.