The Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) is an incredible charity, who have been changing lives since 1978, taking both disabled and able-bodied men and women to sea, to not only teach them how to crew a tall ship, but to promote equality, sharing and to celebrate our individual differences by working together to achieve greater things.
The JST is there to build the bridges of awareness and understanding and by using two fantastic, specially designed tall ships, break down barriers for a better, more inclusive world. Sailing with them will change perceptions both of your own ability and of those around you, regardless of physical ability.
In 2018 we sent Trooper Sam around Gran Canaria, and our three Pirates – Nigel, Andrew and Andy went on a round trip from Southampton to Fowey. Our very own CEO Nicola Booth has even been on a voyage herself when she went along to ‘take one for the team’ and check out exactly what our Troopers would be expected to do. Our team member Les and plucky Trooper Margaret recently sailed the seas from Poole to Oban and had an awesome time. Charlie is our latest Trooper to join the JST family after sailing from Greenock to Liverpool. This might sound like a bucket list adventure but this is no holiday, you are part of a 50 strong crew that includes around 20 people with disabilities and everyone is expected to ‘muck in’. Our Troopers all came back agreeing it was the opportunity of a lifetime and they’d definitely do it again!
Alan Titchmarsh, Vice Patron of JST says ” I’ve seen people come home from a voyage and seem 5 feet taller – the experience has completely changed the way they see themselves”
Sam told us “The trip was far from a holiday, as it involved challenges such as setting the sails, going aloft and helming the ship, as well as cooking and cleaning. But despite the hard work, I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. It was a real challenge. There were no home comforts – just friendly, happy people mucking in”
Our Pirate Andrew wrote “So today I went outside my comfort zone and climbed the rigging up to the crow’s nest. It was a proud moment and a major achievement for me, not only as a person but as a recovering amputee. Dizzy heights indeed, reached after pangs of self-doubt and moments of physical exhaustion. The elation I felt was incredible, especially as my limbs recovered from jellyness. I had the most amazing week at sea with so many amazing people, thanks Finding your feet for the opportunity to do it.”
Margaret said “Thank you Finding Your Feet for giving me the opportunity to go on an amazing voyage on the Lord Nelson Tall Ship. It took me out of my comfort zone and into a place I ended up calling home. I did things I never dreamt I could ever do, like climbing up to the Crows nest, heaving ropes to launch sails and team building exercises. The camaraderie and encouragement on board was an experience in itself, I met some amazing people. This experience has shown me that anything is possible.”
Charlie “Thanks to FYF I have done things I never thought I would be able to do!”
What to expect if you get the chance…
Life on board
Life on board really is about joining in and getting involved regardless of your physical ability. Don’t worry if you’ve not sailed before – most people step onto Lord Nelson or Tenacious with no experience of sailing a Tall Ship before, so you won’t be alone. The permanent crew will support you through all the tasks involved with sailing the ships and you will always have an experienced hand with you on watch.
How do I know what to do?
You will be put into one of four teams called Watches, which take it in turns to be responsible for various tasks on board, including keeping watch, even at night! Each watch includes an experienced watch leader who will work with you and be you formal link with the permanent crew. Between them, they ensure that you are given tasks that suit your individual strengths. Together you will sail the ship.
Routines may vary according to the ship and requirements on board
On arrival at the ship, you will be given a watch card with the times of your watches.
There are eight cabins on each ship for wheelchair users and their buddies. The remaining accommodation is provided by spacious fixed bunks on board both Lord Nelson and Tenacious.
The accommodation has heating and air-conditioning, hot showers and points for electric toothbrushes, shavers and hair dryers (the power supply on both ships is standard 240v). Bathrooms are shared and include all the facilities required for those with limited mobility, including four clos-o-mat toilets.
Fancy Your Own ‘Experience Of A Lifetime?’
If you’d love to give it a go yourself, keep an eye out for future opportunities with FYF. Alternatively you can check out JST’s website for more information about upcoming voyages here.