The Discovery Sailing Project (DSP) is run mainly by volunteers and we are delighted to welcome new volunteers.

Some of our volunteers are young people who, having sailed with us, decide that they want to get more involved and join our Watch Leader Scheme and progress ‘through the ranks’.  Others are adults who want to do more sailing, work with young people or develop their skills.

People can choose how often they want to sail – whether frequently or just for a weekend or two or for one of our longer voyages such as the Tall Ships Race.  In addition to the sailing, we ask our volunteers to help out with the winter refits for one weekend and to make an annual financial donation.

DSP is part of the Scout Association within which volunteers become skills instructors, and the Scout Association provides some of the insurance for our volunteers.  A DBS (formerly Criminal Records Bureau) check is needed for work with young people.

There are a range of roles as Sea Staff, depending on age, experience and qualifications. Adults may start off as “Supernumerary” until they have found their feet.  Then if they wish they can progress through to Mate and Skipper.

The Royal Yachting Association Day Skipper  is a key qualification for progress to Mate, and the project helps people to train for that, as well as miles and experience on our voyages counting towards the pre-requisites.  Whatever a person’s skill level, our yachts are a learning environment where people enjoy themselves and we help one another to develop.  Above all we have fun!

We also welcome shore based volunteers who want to help with maintenance, marketing, fundraising, or administration.

Richard Hovey, one of our adult volunteers, writes, “I joined DSP a couple of years ago, after a friend recommended the project to me.  I’d recently qualified as a Day Skipper and I wanted to continue to sail alongside more experienced people and to “give something back”.  I’m now a Mate with the project, which has helped me pass my Yachtmaster Coastal exam.  As well as the sailing, I enjoy the camaraderie in the project both ashore and afloat, and it’s great to see young people learning and developing through this experience of the sea.

Amelia, a young volunteer, writes, “I first came for a weekend sailing with my school when I was 14; a year later I became a watch leader after being part of the delivery crew for a Tall Ships Race.  I am now the youth representative for the project, and coming for that first weekend was one of the best decisions of my life.  Being part of DSP has greatly improved my confidence and presented opportunities I may otherwise not have had.

Have you already sailed with us?  Or are you interested in volunteering?  Get in touch to start the experience!