Suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK.
The SAIL2HELP programme was established to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people. And, to raise funds in order to offer much needed support to such vulnerable people, and their families who together are fighting a mental health battle. In addition, to financially support Papyrus, the UK’s main suicide prevention charity for young persons, and ISWAN who provide a free multilingual & confidential helpline - YachtCrew Help for professional yacht crew 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
SAIL2HELP is a charity, and it has been entered onto the Register of Charities with the Registered Charity Number 1198826.
The enduring programme will now be able to fund a sustainable programme to provide a sailing experience 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 nearly 30 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 continues to face a “mental health pandemic”. The number of people seeking help because of suicidal thoughts continues to rise.
The SAIL2HELP programme intends to continue raising the awareness of mental health issues among young people, and importantly raise funds in order to support the UK’s main suicide prevention charity for young persons. In 2021 we were able to donate more than £20,000 to Papyrus. In 2022 we raised £32,500, of which £5000 was given to Papyrus's Hopeline 24/7 and another £5000 to ISWANS YachtCrew Helpline.
Our activity for 2022 started with a fundraising weekend at the end of April, a Ladies day on 5 May 22, and more sailing "escape days” throughout the rest of the season; including 10 days in the Channel Islands where we worked with the Guernsey Youth Commission.
Going forward it is the intention of the Trustees to raise at least £50k year on year in order to to support Papyrus and YachtCrew Help in addition to funding more “escape days” so that families affected by suicide can leave their gut-wrenching sadness on the dockside.
"This whole experience was a metaphor for mental health and wellbeing – reiterating the importance of taking a break and working together to accomplish a common goal.”
Our focus is to garner funding for the long term and make further donations to Papyrus and ISWAN in order for them to run their much needed help lines:
HOPELINE 24/7 (0800 068 4141) & YachtCrew Help (+44 (0)300 012 4279).
So far we have raised £24,115 from which we have made further donations to Papyrus and ISWAN. We are delighted that we have achieved charitable status so that we can now unlock further sources of funding.
The programme has a separate bank account, trading as SAIL2HELP, to ensure full transparence of all transactions, and the use of your generous donations. The Board of Trustees have completed their declarations to the CIO, and our application to HMRC for “Gift Aid” is in hand. The current Treasurer’s account has been replaced by a new account now that the charity is registered with the Charity Commission and is recognised as a legal entity (in the form of a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO)).
Our approach to the prevention of young suicide is 3 phase:
To obtain further 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 on the Solent this year, and in the future also using trusted service providers in the South of England.
To help introduce young persons to a career in the maritime sector, under Red, White, Blue or Flagged State Ensign, by partnering with appropriate Service providers and to offer mentoring and/or scholarships as appropriate.