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jakehardinguksaHRH The Princess Royal joined Island-based youth charity UKSA in London yesterday (Wednesday) for the launch of their Ambassador Programme.

Her Royal Highness, a Patron to the Isle of Wight charity, met with young people whose lives have improved thanks to UKSA, who believe in harnessing the power of the sea to make a positive change.

UKSA helps people by providing Back to Work programmes, engagement courses and funding towards career courses. The young people presented yesterday will now become ambassadors for the Charity and tell other young people about their experiences.

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HRH The Princess Royal chatted with the new Ambassadors. One young Ambassador, Jake Harding 20, explained:

“It is a real pleasure to have met HRH The Princess Royal, this is a fantastic initiative by UKSA and without their help I wouldn’t be where I am today.”

Jake joined UKSA as an apprentice, having recently completed his apprenticeship in Business Administration. This week he has started his training on the 9 week Watersports Instructor Training Course.

Youth charity UKSA, offers transformational opportunities to 9,000 young people a year through sailing and watersports. Recent government statistics report 975,000 16-24 years are not in education, employment or training. UKSA’s “Change Direction” youth development programmes have an 81% success rate in getting young people back into work or training compared to the reported national average of approx. 22%.

UKSA Young Ambassadors join HRH The Princess Royal, CEO Richard Thornton and Trustee David Lister
Richard Thornton, CEO of UKSA commented.

“Today has been about promoting we are much more than a sailing charity. We want to change the young people’s lives for the better. To have our Patron, HRH The Princess Royal present today has been inspirational for our ambassadors and it was with great pleasure to announce Sarah Ayton as a new ambassador”

The mentoring and support received through UKSA is proven to increase the chance of gaining meaningful employment, beat the national average of reducing the risk of re-offending and help young people re-engage with the their lives and society, developing essential life skills to build motivation, confidence and aspiration. It offers the best youth development programmes alongside professional maritime training to help young people transform their lives for the better.

UKSA is the official charity of Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week and also announced Double Olympic Gold Medallist Sailor, Sarah Ayton OBE as a new ambassador.

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