Reaching out to more young people

We help hundreds of disadvantaged young people to enjoy waterborne activities through our successful programme On The Water

Young people smile and laugh as they take part in On The Water
For many of the young people, this will be their first time on the water

Giving disadvantaged and vulnerable children aged 9–14 the opportunity to try out watersports, have fun and boost their confidence – this is the aim of our summer outreach programme, On The Water, which had another successful season this year.

Running from 24 July–25 August in Birmingham and London, 779 young people got to enjoy free water-based activities and learn valuable life skills through sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and canoeing. Participants included children in care, disabled young people, children from low-income households and young carers. For many of them, it was the first time they have ever experienced something like this.

One of the groups that took part last year and was back at London’s Royal Docks again this year is AAA (Ambition Aspire Achieve) Zone. The charity provides opportunities for young people most in need living in the London Borough of Newham.

“The young people we work with have the opportunity to experience being on the water thanks to Sea Cadets,” says Ann Sparrowhawk, AAA Zone’s Project Coordinator. “Trying out watersports has a really positive impact on their physical, mental and social development.”

On the water 2023
Young people get the chance to learn life skills through the activities

What people are saying about it 

Sea Cadets has been running On The Water since 2019. The programme has got a big thumbs up from the young people who have taken part, who described their experience as “awesome”, “exciting” and “lots of fun”!

A parent of one of the participants said:  

“My son has autism. I am so thankful to Sea Cadets for giving my child this opportunity and I still can’t believe he’s done it. Seeing the pictures of him sailing made
me so proud.”

Zayan (14), who took part in London, says:

“I enjoyed sailing the most, I’d never done it before and it challenged me. I liked learning something new. I would recommend On The Water to my friends because it’s fun to get out of the house, and do something active outdoors.”

On the Water 2023
On The Water boosts young people’s confidence and mental wellbeing

Photos: Sea Cadets

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