Inspiring Children

The Trust’s best known activity is the very popular ‘Sail for a Fiver’ programme, now renamed ‘The Rod Shipley Sail for a Fiver’ programme to reflect the generous legacy provided by Rod’s widow, Elma. The Trust works with two specialist providers, who in turn work closely with schools throughout Dorset. The programme allows Year 6 schoolchildren to sail for a charge of just £5. The Trust then tops this up to make sure the provider covers their costs.

Since the programme started, around 26,000 children have experienced sailing as a result of the Trust’s support. For some of the participants, sailing has subsequently become a way of life.

“I have never known (name) to be enthusiastic about anything until he tried sailing. For a variety of reasons many of the children would not have otherwise been offered the fantastic opportunity, so many thanks again for supporting our work.”

If you or your child would like to take part in the ‘Sail for a Fiver’ programme then you should ask your school or college in the first instance.

Elma Shipley’s legacy has enabled the Trust to expand the programme to cover Windsurfing and stand up paddle boarding. Provided by our partner, OTC, 600 Year 9 pupils get their first experience of Windsurfing. One comment from a local school captures the impact:

We absolutely love having the opportunity to Windsurf and stand up paddleboarding each year, our children benefit so much from this exciting experience and for the majority of them it is the first time they ever take part in watersports.

One of the restricted funds held by the Trust was established by a sizeable donation from the Worshipful Company of Dyers. With these funds the Trust has supported the visit of several East London schools to the Sailing Academy at Portland where pupils have teamed up with local schoolchildren and experienced sailing for the first time. Testimonials from the schools involved can be found by clicking on the link on the right. The funds provided by the Dyers Company also enabled the Trust to support children from a London school to join Dorset school children on voyages on the TS Pelican. Feedback was very positive and captured by the following extract: … who really enjoyed the whole experience, from the challenge of climbing the rigging, watch duties and the chance to take the helm of a ship. The boys all grew in confidence over the week.

The Trust has developed a ‘Small to Tall’ pathway. Since 2017 the CST has partnered with the Boleh Trust to enable groups of young people (together with a teacher) to sail aboard this historic junk yacht, built in 1949 and recently completely restored with the assistance of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. 

More recently the Trust has linked up with the Rona Sailing Trust to provide a week long sailing experience for young people. Each young person has to raise £100 to participate, with the CST providing the remainder of the cost.

Seb Coe spends time with Sail for a Fiver Legacy Children at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy © Dorset Media Service 2011 Sail for £5 photos June 9th 08 017[1]