Monthly Archives: January 2017

Cowes 2016

Cowes 2016

OUT Sailing take a group of young people from Breakout Youth sailing to Cowes for the weekend.

In July,  volunteer leaders and role models took a group of 14 young people from BreakOut Youth, based in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight to UKSA in Cowes for a weekend out on the water. Breakout Youth is an independent charity that offers a confidential support service for young people aged 11 to 21, who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or questioning (LGBTQ)  their sexuality or gender identity. The young people came from four groups in Hampshire, and for some, it was the first time they had met. They were able to get to know each other on the ferry across to the Isle of Wight to the  sailing centre.

OUT Sailing take a group of young people from Breakout Youth sailing to Cowes for the weekend.

As soon as the group arrived, it was straight into wetsuits for some raft-building. Getting into a wetsuit was challenging enough for some of the young people who had shyness/body image issues. Gentle coaxing and support from the instructors and volunteers helped a lot. During Saturday, they were taught to rig and sail J80 Keelboats.

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The calm winds were nice for the beginners, however the wind picked up during the afternoon, and you could positively feel the buzz and excitement as they all came home. Scary, but excitement beyond anything they could have imaged. Sunday was calmer, so they took a kayak trip up the River Medina.

Gradually over time you see the young people overcome shyness, learn to to trust their peers and really come out of their shells. It was especially amazing to observe the young woman with Asperger’s syndrome, who could barely lift her head at the dinner table, start engaging with people,  becoming talkative and animated – telling stories by the end of the weekend.

Many of the young people shared their stories and experiences. Some had supportive/accepting families, some didn’t. Some had supportive/accepting friends, some didn’t. ALL had experienced some form of prejudice or bullying and ALL were vulnerable due to their experiences in society.

 OutSailing aims to continue helping these young people have a fun and rewarding experience alongside positive role models to help them feel good about themselves.

Brighton 2016

Brighton – July and August 2017
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OutSailing has worked with 16 young people from Allsorts Youth group in Brighton this year on 2 separate day events at the beautiful Bewl Water on the Sussex/Kent border.  Activities included windsurfing (without any wind!), kayaking and raft building.  Allsorts is a project that supports young people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans or questioning (LGBTQ)  their sexual orientation and/or gender identity. They do this through various group activities and we worked with an over 16s group and their TAG group (a group that supports an increasing number of under-16 LGBTQ people in Brighton).  Said Reuben, one of the Allsorts staff ” So many of these young people find it really hard to access mainstream outdoor and physical activities for many reasons.  So being able to come along and do these sorts of activities in a safe and accessible group is really good for them and their mental and physical health.”
Particularly lovely this year was the fact that we had a previous participant of OutSailing activities along as a volunteer to support the group.
Thanks to volunteers from S&CA who helped support the group.
Next year we’re working towards doing a weekend residential with them all again at Bewl Water – lets hope for more wind then!