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Issue No.1
January 2013

Volume 1
It has been a rewarding year of progress for the Club’s Charitable Trust. For this we have to thank those generous members of the Club and all others who have supported our efforts, the enthusiastic co-operation we have received from the organisations that we work with and, not least, the hard work contributed by the trustees, secretary and treasurer..  

As many of you will already know, with the funds raised, the Trust sends young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to sea as part of a working crew. Many are in some way disaffected with school or community and some have been in trouble with the police or in danger of being so. In all cases the opportunity offered by the Trust lifts them, albeit temporarily, from the limitations of their restricting and often challenging backgrounds, giving them sight of a new outside world which most of us take for granted.

Working as part of a team in a new environment can give them confidence and inspiration for the future and, for some, employment opportunities. The reports we receive are proof enough that this formula works and we believe that we are the only charity that does precisely this.

There are a number of charities that involve the physically or mentally handicapped in sailing, numerous charities that teach children from all backgrounds to sail in dinghies, and charities that take the young to sea at a generously subsidised price. The gap in the safety net which this charity fulfils is to identify young people who have been introduced to sailing but could not, for reason of their deprived circumstances, afford to pay for a course or sea voyage with one of the excellent organisations offering these facilities.

During the past season we have funded sea voyages for 31 young people. Detailed reports of these voyages may be found on our website at www.rtyccharity.org

The Sea Cadets and Sea-Change...
At the end of July 2011 we funded a week’s charter of a Thames Spritsail sailing barge, owned by Sea-Change, for 10 Sea Cadets from the Gravesend Unit under the supervision of one Officer and a civilian instructor.  The cadets were made responsible for day to day running of the boat including the victualing. In 2012 our standard annual bursaries continued with grants to 6 Sea Cadets from the Staines and Egham Division.

With the Jubilee Sailing Trust...
Through the Jubilee Sailing Trust, we were able to arrange for 3 young men from the Girvan area, each with limited social skills, to go to sea for inspiring voyages.

The Ahoy Centre and UKSA...
The Ahoy Centre in Deptford, that achieves wonderful results in introducing the young from the area to waterborne activities, provided two keen young sailors to go on a cruise with UKSA, which we were able to fund; one has declared that his life has changed and that he will in due course seek employment in the marine industry whilst both attained RYA Competent Crew qualification.

Westminster Boating Base and the
Rona Sailing Project...

Another source of deserving and keen beneficiaries has been the Westminster Boating Base at Pimlico; last year four of their young sailors were sent on voyages with the Rona Sailing Project all of whom sent glowing reports even enjoying the less comfortable side of life afloat. Rona, themselves sourced other deserving candidates whose voyages we were able to fund.

Trinity Sailing and Keys Meadow School...
Voyages with the Trinity Sailing Foundation in Brixham have also been funded for students at Keys Meadow School in Enfield.

During the past year we have been in contact with other youth activity centres and sailing organisations with whom we plan to work in the forthcoming season. These include the organisations already mentioned but we are always keen to learn of other charitable organisations, with whom we can work, who introduce young people from deprived backgrounds to our sport of sailing. If you know of any please, in the first instance, contact us on charity@royalthames.com

Of course, none of this would be possible without the increasing generosity of our members a number of whom have been kind enough to enter into standing orders in favour of the trust as well as those who have made generous one-off donations. Another boost to funds was provided by the happy occasion of Sir Michael Parkinson entertaining guests at lunch in the Clubhouse in June.

Staying on the subject of fund raising, we are very grateful to
Rear Admiral John Lang who gave a talk at the Clubhouse on 31st January on ‘The Life, Light and Lore of the London River’ and has donated his fee to the charity. Many thanks are also due to the generous Brian Smullen who sponsored a marine art exhibition at the Clubhouse between 18 and 20 March which has benefited the charity. We hope that many of you were able to attend these events and will also be supportive enough to come and enjoy yourselves at our forthcoming ones. Additionally Lady Grade most kindly allowed the Trust to benefit from her box at the Royal Albert Hall. 

For this year we are hoping to organise two events: first, an evening reception in the Thames side premises of the Westminster Boating Base on Wednesday 5 June (see photograph) and secondly an afternoon afloat on one of the Rona Sailing Project’s training ketches; details of both events will follow.

We also hope not only to expand our existing work by widening our source of beneficiaries and our list organisations who take them to sea but also to organise a regatta on the Queen Mary Reservoir in the J80s for all past beneficiaries. There is much enthusiasm from the beneficiaries themselves and we now have to deal with the inevitable health and safety challenges that arise when you wish to take young people afloat.

As one of the underlying but unspoken tenants of the charity is that a healthy life is an active life and sport inevitably involves risk, we will no doubt succeed.

Keep abreast via our new website
A considerable amount of work has been put into the construction of our new website, mentioned above, which we hope you will visit to keep abreast of our activities.

Future aims
We feel that we have come a long way since our foundation seven years ago but this will not be a bar to future progress. Our aim for the future is to spend an annual sum of £20,000 for the coming year on sending deserving young people to sea. Sourcing appropriate beneficiaries takes a significant time but the results which we have achieved, evidenced by the reports which we receive is well worth the considerable effort expended. Thanks to the necessary administrative support provided by the Club, our expenses are minimal and thus, almost every penny received from the generosity of members and others goes towards our objective of providing a memorable and often life changing experience for underprivileged young people.

Thanks, as ever, are due to my hardworking fellow trustees, Doug Harckham, George Ehlers, Bernard Kinchin and Rufus Gilday and also our Hon,Treasurer, Rupert Salmon. A special thanks to David Freeman, who has acted as Secretary to the Trust since its inception but who has just retired from the role to free himself for his other many duties. He is replaced by Gwynne Lawrence to whom we extend a warm welcome. Gwynne has already made his presence felt – it seems as though he has done the job before. David Freeman nevertheless remains in touch and our thanks are due to the Secretariat for their continuing administrative support.    

Giving our report for the first half of the year should be quite tricky as nothing really happens between December and June as our beneficiaries tend not to go to sea at that time of the year. It’s not that our beneficiaries lack steely enthusiasm (although they might not be able to afford the remarkable cold weather clothing which is now on the market) it is more the case that all our operators are busy maintaining their boats for the now current season. Surprisingly, however, to find something to write about is far from tricky as there has been an awful lot going on.


Probably the most significant achievement of the period under review is the launch of our website at www.rtyccharity.org which is also available through the main Club website. Do visit this for a full picture and read some of the really touching reports which we have received. For this remarkable feat, the website that is, we are heavily indebted to Martin Lindsay (and probably also to John McMonigall with whom he sails –John for not taking him on a round the world cruise) for all his hard work, knowledge and flair. The website is saving us all a lot of time in that, instead of having to explain who we are and what we do to every other charity and organisation with whom we deal with, we can merely direct them to the website. This has useful links with overarching organisations such as the RYA and ASTO as well as to websites of our operators (the organisations that take the beneficiaries away on sea voyages) and our providers (the organisations that work with our potential beneficiaries).


In January, Rear Admiral John Lang came to the Clubhouse to give a totally enthralling talk about the Thames and its history and very kindly donated his fee to the Charity. It turned out that not only was the Admiral an excellent lecturer but also the Chairman of the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO) and accordingly one of the trustees was duly despatched to their Gosport HQ and was duly impressed that they knew all about us. We look forward to more co-operation in the future.


We have been introduced to the Faversham Creek Trust by Sir Ronnie McIntosh. Their aim is to restore the maritime heritage of the eponymous and attractive town and, as an adjunct to this, they are creating apprenticeships in traditional boat building skills. We have sponsored their first apprentice which is somewhat out of our normal run of activities.


In March, Brain Smullen and John O’Flaherty organised an exhibition of splendid marine paintings by Alastair Houston for which the nominal room charge and all commission was kindly donated to the charity. Alastair is a talented artist who came to painting via sailing rather than vice versa. Our thanks go to Brian and John for their generosity and the Club for its support.


One of the potential new provider/operators is the Cirdan Trust introduced simultaneously by Peter Tracey and ASTO and another is the Leila Trust introduced by Julian Hooper; keep them coming! Happily, hard work by the Trustees in spreading the message of what we offer is beginning to pay off and we are getting unsolicited approaches from outside organisations and individuals. One such contact, ironically, has been with the TS John Jerwood, a Sea Cadet training vessel berthed at Gosport. I say “ironically” as one of our most valued lady members had a rather close encounter with that vessel at Cowes Week a couple of years back but was mercifully saved from serious injury.


For the forthcoming season, we have undertaken to spend an amount which should see approximately 85 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds going on sea voyages which certainly alters their horizons but could just be life changing for them. The number which we hope to send to sea is an enormous step forward for us but we remain entirely dependant on the generosity of our supporters.


Issue No.2
June 2013
Volume 1
Issue No.2
June 2013
Volume 1