Local youth charity UKSA has spent more than 35 years helping young people to discover the sea and providing pathways into maritime employment.

Over that time, it has become well established as a maritime training provider of excellence, and the largest RYA training centre in the world – but what UKSA is perhaps less well known for is the extensive charitable work that permeates everything it does.

As one of the largest employers on the Island, UKSA’s commitment to the Isle of Wight continues to grow, recognising that whilst we might live in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK, many of our young people face some difficult challenges. 

“We know that 34% of children on the Island live in poverty” explains CEO Ben Willows “and that despite growing up no more than 20 minutes away from the sea, a significant number have never been on the water. “

Determined to enable Island children to experience sailing and watersports, regardless of background and without the barrier of cost, UKSA launched its Test the Water programme in 2014. The programme offers every child in year six on the Isle of Wight the opportunity to experience a taster session on the water to help them develop life skills, broaden their horizons, develop confidence on the water and to have fun. The charity raises funds from local individuals and companies to support this programme.

“As always there is lots going on and much still to be done at UKSA” says Ben. “But we can’t do it alone. We need the support of our brilliant donors in the community to help transform the lives of more deserving children and young people”.

You can help UKSA to empower Island children to build the skills to reach their potential, with a donation of £35 or £2.91 month, which will put a child on the water. 

For more information, check out the website uksa.org/charity/you-can-help/