Peterborough veterans offered the experience of a lifetime on board Cutty Sark type clipper
Peterborough veterans are to be given a chance to sail aboard a ‘Cutty Sark’ type clipper when the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) opens its new Yarmouth hub later this year.
The trust wants to provide low cost opportunities for veterans to enjoy a voyage on its 600-ton sailing ships.
Speaking at the city council Armed Forces Partnership meeting (Thursday, May 23), Philippa Clare, JST strategic partnerships manager, said: “We want to offer veterans and serving military personnel from Peterborough the experience of a lifetime sailing aboard our tall ships.
“We will be opening a series of new ‘hub-ports’ over the coming year. This will give people with limited mobility the chance to come aboard one or both of our vessels without having to travel great distances to get to us.
“Particularly for the Armed Forces Partnership Board who we’ve been talking to today, up to 75 per cent LIBOR funding is available, enabling veterans to come aboard these magnificent vessels at subsidised costs.
“We find that once aboard, many find or regain their passion for life. Everybody at the JST is empowered to pull upon the lines, set sails aloft or steer a 600-ton ship into the wind.
“This mix of adventure, the open sea, everybody and everything working together gives our crew enormous confidence to take back into their communities, helping with their long-term being and mental health.”
James Barker, chairman of the local volunteer branch, added: “We’re so proud to be able to take people sailing on these two magnificent tall ships, giving them an adventure of a lifetime.
“We don’t take passengers, everybody aboard has to work and we challenge people to go above and beyond their capabilities, quite literally if you climb into the rigging..
“That means if you come aboard in a wheelchair, and you want to go aloft and change the sails, we can arrange that.
“You will still be climbing a 30m mainmast… and coming down again, safely of course – that is what we do.
“Typically, voyages last from five to 10 days, but one of our vessels has just returned from New Zealand going round Cape Horn along the way.”
Chairman Cllr John Fox said: “We’re very privileged to have the JST working with us today, a new partnership, and I cannot wait to get out to see their fantastic sailing ships.
“It would be nice to think that the board could organise an entire ship’s company of 40 veterans and serving military personnel entirely from Peterborough – that is our aim.
“With LIBOR funding, costs should only be about £50 per person, per day, and it may even be possible to find bursaries from other charities and foundations to cover those costs as well.”
The Jubilee Sailing Trust works with a wide range of charitable partners to provide adventure to those facing restrictions as every voyage is tailored to the needs of the crew, whether they have mental health issues or physical disabilities.
Full training is given onboard, and everybody takes part from cleaning, rigging the sails, cooking and steering the giant vessels.
For those interested in working with JST contact: [email protected]
For those interested in taking an adventure of a lifetime on a tall ship contact: [email protected]
Robert Alexander , Local Democracy Reporting Service