Donation to OYT North - a fitting tribute to David Bennett

OYT North has benefitted from a donation that will help fund future voyages for the region’s young people.

The donation was made by Barbara Bennett of North Shields in memory of her husband Dave, who spent his life tirelessly working in the community to improve the lives of young people and helping them fulfil their potential.

Dave started sailing whilst at school and then later as an adult when he became leader with 1st Dickleburgh Sea Scouts in Norfolk. When he and his family moved to the North East twenty years ago, Dave became a scout leader again, eventually becoming County Commissioner for Northumberland in 2001.

Dave’s personal interest in sailing was rekindled in recent years when he took part in voyages with OYT North and the Tall Ships Race as part of the scouting contingent. They really opened his eyes to the value and possibilities of giving young people the opportunity to learn to sail and develop their interpersonal skills.  

Commenting on the donation, Barbara Bennett said, “Dave passionately believed in the aims of scouting to promote the development of young people in achieving their full physical, intellectual, social and spiritual potential and believed this could be achieved by a whole range of activities such as sailing.

“We felt the aims of the Ocean Youth Trust North to help young people, irrespective of their backgrounds and abilities to discover their true potential closely matched Dave’s ideals in life. He loved the physical and mental challenges of sailing, the teamwork involved and the sense of adventure and achievement it gave him.”

Dave worked tirelessly not only with Scouts but also the local church, schools and charities, to improve the lives of young people and his passion for the water lives on through his son Simon, and grandson Luca who are both members of the 19th Tynemouth Sea Scouts.  

Commenting on the donation, Steve Lennon, General Manager of OYT North said, “Dave made a real impact on the lives of young people not only in the North East but in Norfolk too and everyone at OYT North has been touched by his family’s donation. Dave truly embraced the values that our charity promotes, that ability is no barrier, and we will use the funds to continue our work in challenging and inspiring young people from across the region.

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