Suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK.
The sail2help programme has been established to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people, and importantly raise funds in order to offer much-needed support to such vulnerable people by financially supporting Papyrus, the UK’s main suicide prevention charity for young persons, in an attempt to reduce the incidence of suicide.
In addition, the programme intends to fund a sustainable 5+ year programme to provide "Escape Days" for those families blighted by the terrible effects of mental health issues, making the waves of grief that usually knock them off their feet less violent.
I speak with experience having lost my eldest son George to suicide in the early days of 2020, and my elder brother, Peter some 25 years ago. I know how it feels to lie in bed at night sobbing until you can no longer breathe and that makes me want to help others. I can’t suggest for a moment that it won’t always hurt but sailing without responsibility might make it hurt less, but I can’t do it alone and need your help, and with your help we can help others avoid the heart ache.
The UK is facing a “mental health pandemic", after the number of people seeking help because of suicidal thoughts tripled since the first lockdown began.
AVRO Yachting Ltd, a non-related entity, is providing a flagship yacht - the DUDLEY DOCKER for use as a pro bono mobile platform to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people. She will be operated by Fairview Sailing Ltd and be commercially available for charter on the Solent.
An “Escape Day” is an opportunity for families and individuals going through really difficult times to leave their gut-wrenching sadness on the dockside, and enjoy the freedom of sailing in the fresh air while leaning into their pain.
At present we are running an immediate three-phase approach to the prevention of young suicide.
Our approach to the prevention of young suicide is 3 phase:
To obtain seed-corn funding for the long term sail2help programme, and to make further cash donations to Papyrus.
To deliver of a number of “Escape Days” for families affected by this terrible illness between end of May and early October on the Solent this year; and, in the future, using service providers in the South of England.
To help introduce young persons to a career in the maritime sector, under Red, Blue, White or Flagged State Ensign, by partnering with appropriate Service providers and to offer mentoring and/or scholarships as appropriate.
My principal focus, at present, is to garner seed-corn funding for the long term programme and make further donations to Papyrus. In addition, in order to deliver an enhanced second phase, I am seeking extra funds to provide additional respite days afloat along the South Coast.
So far, with retrospective gift aid applied, we have raised nearly £20,000 for
Corporate sponsorship packages are available on request and will include a day out on the water for up to eight people on our flagship. For all sponsorship packages, we offer branding, and inclusion in our social media feeds.