Based near Southampton, the Rona Trust (or Rona Sailing Project) is a registered charity and a volunteer-based sail training organisation. We run sail training voyages for young people from the age of 14 from diverse backgrounds with and without sailing experience. The sail training programme we run, provides a range of development opportunities for young people, while being a fun and exciting adventure. All of the voyages are subsidised.
When young people join our voyages, they work in a watch system, taking responsibility for the running of the boat and in the process, opening up a whole new world of challenges, skills and confidence. Some young people who sail with us come with sailing experience, but few have experience of sailing large yachts like Rona II, Donald Searle or Merrilyn. Our volunteer Afterguard teach the crew everything they need to know to successfully complete the voyage and develop their skills and confidence. The young people who sail with us, enjoy meeting new people and working together above and below decks, sail handling, navigating and even cooking fabulous meals and cakes for everyone on board to enjoy. Together the entire crew work together to meet the challenge of the sea.
Our Afterguard are volunteers, the majority of whom have been with the Project since they were young trainees themselves. Every year we invite a number of trainees who have demonstrated leadership skills and interest, to join our volunteer training programme.
We also run therapeutic voyages for groups of vulnerable adults and young people, including those with learning disabilities, mental health issues, in treatment or recovery from substance misuse, and those who are living with chronic conditions.