Companies invited to retrain veterans through sailing charity partnership

Johnny Slater

A sailing charity is inviting companies, community groups and individuals to get involved in their new Zero to Hero campaign by sponsoring an injured veteran to retrain as a professional Yachtmaster in the marine industry.

Since 1991, more than 235,000 service men and women have been sent to fight on our behalf – with as many as 1 in 11 needing our help on their return.

Many suffer from physical or mental health issues and are medically discharged from the Armed Forces, and life can be tough for these veterans as they attempt to navigate the jobs market. At any one time in the UK, it is estimated that 17,000 wounded or sick veterans will be looking for employment.

To help combat this, Turn to Starboard use sail training to support Armed Forces personnel affected by military operations to start new careers in the marine industry. Launched in 2014, the Falmouth-based charity has provided more than 1,900 sailing opportunities to injured veterans and their families with many going on to gain valuable sailing qualifications.

The charity is now inviting the public to give a helping hand to ex-servicemen and women to start a new life by sponsoring an individual through their Zero to Hero Yachtmaster Development programme. The flexible, personalised course offers expert tuition and mentor support and open to veterans with any level of sailing experience.

At the end of the programme participants are awarded the coveted Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Yachtmaster Offshore qualification – regarded as the gold standard by many in yachting. The award stands out as a badge of quality throughout the world and recognised by most national authorities and commercial operators.

Turn to Starboard CEO and founder, Shaun Pascoe, says veterans are highly skilled, yet need to re-adapt after working in some of the most dangerous places in the world.

“Our troops are professionally trained and resilient, yet often work in extreme conditions which can take its toll with thousands of individuals returning home with physical or mental health injuries. Many become isolated and disconnected to society while desperately missing the sense of connection and closeness they felt with their comrades, which can make it difficult for them to recover from the traumas of war.

“At Turn to Starboard we help individuals get perspective on past events and start a new life on their transition from the service. Beneficiaries gain tangible experiences, expert training and career-building opportunities on their journey of readjustment, all in a highly unique and supportive environment.

“To help achieve this, we invite you to throw your support behind our Zero to Hero campaign and help those who have served for their country. And, contrary to what some may believe, sponsorship is not restricted to large companies. Support from organisations of all sizes is welcomed for the programme, which offers a powerful opportunity for a brand to connect with the broader community. Social responsibility for the greater good can boost employee morale and create a sense of pride while attracting positive publicity and improving customer relationships. Making a positive change to people’s lives is at the heart of many businesses goals, so we welcome partners looking to support these values and encourage them to get in touch.”

Sponsorship of an individual on the programme is £7,000 and includes personalised training for veterans by the charity’s professional RYA instructors. The fee helps to cover all aspects of training and running costs of the boat, along with exam fees, on-board accommodation and safety kit.

If you would like to sponsor a veteran for your business or organisation, or as an individual, please contact Helen Jane on 01326 314262 or email helen@turntostarboard.co.uk.

www.turntostarboard.co.uk