UKSA, based in Cowes on the Isle of Wight, has announced British yachtswoman Dee Caffari MBE as Youth and Mental Health Ambassador in a newly created role.
Following the charity and world’s leading maritime training provider’s first public appeal for support to improve the mental health of young people in December, Dee’s appointment will aim to raise awareness and find a solutions to help young people whose mental health has been affected by falling below the poverty line, spending less time outdoors, closing schools and reducing their job prospects.
As the first woman to sail solo and non-stop around the world in both directions and the only woman to sail around the world non-stop three times, Dee faced a host of mental health issues throughout of his career and wants to use his resilience to help inspire UKSA youngsters.
Caffari: Even though we were all in the same storm, we weren’t all in the same boat
Dee Caffari said of the announcement,
“The last two years have been difficult for everyone. Uncertainty, financial problems and reduced group activities have all had an impact on mental health. Resilience is built over time as a result of life experiences. Even though with the pandemic we were all in the same storm, we were not all in the same boat in the face of this storm and it was particularly difficult for the younger generation.
“I hope that by supporting the UKSA in this role of ambassador for youth and mental health, I can build trust in our young people to ensure that our future generations can prosper.
“By being in the elements facing the forces of mother nature, you quickly realize that everyone is equal. She does not care about your gender, race, religion or socio-economic background. agile thinking, adaptability, teamwork and collaboration are all required, and these are all transferable skills in everyday life.
Programs designed to build confidence and encourage teamwork
UKSA provides activities for young people of all abilities where they can learn life skills in a challenging and safe environment.
Its bespoke programs are designed to build confidence and encourage teamwork using water sports and the great outdoors as catalysts for positive outcomes.
Discover maritime professions
It also offers its Sea.Change Foundation program which is specifically aimed at 14-18 year olds and allows teenagers to discover training and jobs in the maritime sector through a five-day residential stay during school holidays.
Youth from disadvantaged backgrounds also have the opportunity to learn life skills and make new friends through the program.
Willows: Dee’s contribution will be invaluable
Ben Willows, CEO of UKSA, said of the announcement,
“UKSA has had a partnership with Dee for many years, but as we continue our cause to make a difference for young people and provide opportunities that are not available to many, having Dee in this role will be invaluable, particularly in as a former teacher.
“Now more than ever, programs such as those offered by the UKSA, which help young people learn life skills and prepare them for the world of work, are essential.
“Our Sea.Change program alone hopes to reach 500 young people each year, but our ultimate goal is to achieve our goal of impacting the lives of over 13,000 young people.”
An exciting year ahead
Dee’s appointment with UKSA adds to an exciting 2022 as she competes in the Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race this year alongside Olympic sailor Shirley Robertson, in a brand new partnership at aboard their ship RockIT.
For more information on UKSA, please visit the website.
News shared by Bex on behalf of UKSA. Ed