Simon Le Bon, frontman of iconic British band Duran Duran, is setting sail as the new ambassador for the Tall Ships Youth Trust which runs seafaring trips for disadvantaged young people across the UK.
The Trust runs residential sea voyages which help develop individuals’ employability and personal skills whilst at sea. Over the past year the charity has offered support to more than 1,200 young beneficiaries facing challenges including learning difficulties, hearing or visual impairments or behavioural, emotional and social difficulties.
Le Bon will announce his partnership with the Trust on 13 September with a voyage from Portsmouth on a 72 foot Challenger yacht with the Tall Ships Youth Trust team. As a keen sailor, he took part in the 1985 Whitbread Round the World Yacht Race and is also an ambassador for The Blue Marine Foundation, a charity that exists to restore healthy oceans.
The Tall Ships Youth Trust also enables young carers, offenders and other individuals not in employment, education or training, to benefit from the experience of life onboard one of the trust’s ocean-going vessels. With around 3,000 voyagers (including adults) setting sail each year, the charity has helped more than 117,000 trainees sail 2 million nautical miles.
On the launch of the initiative, Simon Le Bon said: “It was an easy choice for me to support a charity that helps some of the UK’s most disadvantaged youngsters experience the joy and camaraderie of what it’s like to sail at sea whilst also helping them with key life skills. I hope my work with the Tall Ships Youth Trust creates the opportunity for individuals to undertake even more adventures, opening up valuable chances to learn life skills and set them on a good path in life”.
Richard Leaman-Grey, CEO at the Tall Ships Youth Trust said: “We’re delighted to have Simon on board and to have his support for the important work we do. We aim to empower marginalised young people in fulfilling their utmost potential through experiences at sea and with Simon’s support we’re confident that we can make this a reality”.
Around 90% of the young people involved with the Tall Ships Youth Trust said that taking part in a residential voyage helped them to develop their team work skills whilst improving their personal confidence and self-worth. These residential voyages can also help to teach vital life skills, such as cooking and cleaning. It is estimated that 20% of the charity’s beneficiaries receive a recommendation to return and sail as a member of the Volunteer Crew which provides them with the opportunity to work towards nationally accredited maritime qualifications and could lead to a career in maritime industry.
For more information on the Tall Ships Youth Trust and to find out how to get involved as a donor or fundraiser, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/tallships.