Nationwide celebrations planned

The Ocean Youth Trust is planning a series of events to mark its Golden Jubilee celebrations.

It is 50 years since the trust was founded under its original name, the Ocean Youth Club, by Chris Courtauld and the late Chris Ellis, offering sailing adventures to young people.

In 1999-2000 it split into regional organisations, while retaining the same mentality.

The southern branch, whose voyages are perennially oversubscribed, is holding a dinner in Portsmouth’s Historic Dockyard on October 16, attended by 400 people who have been involved with the charity and one of the club’s original vessels, Duet, will be open to visitors alongside its current 72ft ketch John Laing.

The dinner is close to being sold out, but email to secure a place or go onto the reserve list.

The north-east branch is holding an event at Royal Quays Marina, North Shields between September 17 and October 17 with specifics yet to be finalised.

Contact the Ocean Youth Trust North-East to confirm the event’s details, with the Scottish branch also holding a celebration on October 30.

Mark Todd, chief executive of the southern branch, said: ‘I am delighted that so many people are coming together to celebrate our 50th anniversary.

‘Our guests range from our founder, Chris Courtauld, and many others who knew the club as far back as the 1960s, to young people who have only joined us in the last year or two.

‘It is wonderful to see how the spirit of the charity has remained the same across such a long period, during which we have changed the lives of thousands of young people – including many from highly disadvantaged or vulnerable backgrounds as well as the more fortunate ones.

‘For some the experience laid the foundations for a lifelong love of sailing, but we know that even those who have never sailed again often look back on an experience that developed their confidence, taught them to work in a team, or helped them to cope in new and challenging situations.’

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