Published on: 12 March 2020
British Marine member, UKSA, the non-profit maritime training charity, is delighted to announce it has been pledged a $1.9 million donation, enabling the progression of plans to enhance and expand facilities with the building of a new accommodation centre.
The gift is the largest single amount ever received by UKSA since its founding in 1987. It has been made by The TK Foundation – a Bahamas based foundation that supports non-profit and youth programmes across the globe.
Kevin George, UKSA’s Chair, says: “The whole team at UKSA is thrilled to be in receipt of such a generous donation. The amount is very significant because we can now press forward with our desire to build new, modular accommodation on our site. This will substantially increase the number of people accessing and benefitting from UKSA’s transformative programmes.”
The new accommodation will reinforce the organisation’s commitment to continue growing its impact on the life skills and career prospects of young people through increasing its capacity to support many more young people. UKSA delivers maritime activities and training programmes that have a positive and lasting impact on young people’s academic, health and sporting abilities. The creation of tangible pathways inspires young people to broaden their horizons, leading to continuous employment in the maritime sector. The new accommodation is an urgent requirement as the demand for places at UKSA continues to grow year on year.
Dennis Treleaven, Maritime Program Officer from The TK Foundation comments: “We have long supported the work UKSA undertakes and recognise the important value their programmes add to the lives of the thousands of people passing through their doors each year. The TK Foundation actively supports youth and maritime programmes that offer a hand up, not a handout, and that create a lasting impact, especially in terms of maritime employment opportunities and we consider UKSA’s work to be an embodiment of these values.”
UKSA’s CEO, Ben Willows: “Students staying with us will benefit from an improved experience, with configurable zones providing more flexible arrangements for all, alongside improved safeguarding and better disabled access. The new facilities will unlock the potential to train more professional students as they progress their careers with UKSA’s ongoing training and development programmes.”
Willows adds: “In the last year, we welcomed over 10,000 students thanks to our recognition as the world’s premier maritime training provider. It is the natural progression to improve our facilities to ensure we retain our position as a centre of excellence.”
The donation by the TK Foundation was closely followed up by a pledge from the Whirlwind Charitable Trust (WCT) of £300,000. The WCT was established in 2007, thanks to a generous donation from UKSA founders Noel and Sylvia Lister’s Lister Charitable Trust. Chris Riley, Chair of WCT, says: “Our primary aim is to give financial support to charities that create opportunities and personal development for disadvantaged young people through sailing and other outdoor recreational challenges. UKSA dovetails neatly with Whirlwind’s core values, as well as sharing the Lister DNA.”
UKSA Chair of Trustees, Kevin George, says: “2020 is shaping up to be a really exciting year for UKSA and this latest grant from the Whirlwind Charitable Trust takes us ever closer to our £4million target. This support is invaluable in helping us continually increase the number of people accessing and benefitting from UKSA’s transformative programmes.”
The UKSA site will remain fully operational throughout the development works, with building work commencing in the latter part of 2020 and completion of the works planned for mid-2022. UKSA has appointed island based multidisciplinary consultancy, ERMC, to provide procurement and project support.
Willows concludes: “This is a significant point in the history of UKSA and we are extremely grateful to The TK Foundation and the WCT. We will continue to seek further funding to ensure we can continue to launch as many careers as possible and create a journey of inspiration for the lives of young people. Our plans are unashamedly ambitious as we drive the organisation forward into the next decade.”
Find out more on the UKSA website here.