Hull Students Assist Jack on Taster Session with OYT North

A team of three students from Hull College have helped visually impaired Jack Garner (16) from Scunthorpe take part in a taster session with the sailing training charity, Ocean Youth Trust North (OYT North).

The opportunity was organised by Neil Davison, a tutor at Hull College and a volunteer with the Hull Actionaries who run a broad range of activities for blind and visually impaired children, and Steve Lennon, General Manager of OYT North.

Commenting Neil said, “Having participated in sailing training for many years I know the many benefits it provides young people in terms of developing leadership skills and confidence. Steve and I decided to combine students from both of the organisations with a view to them learning new skills and putting the theory they’ve learnt in the classroom into practice.”

Students Tom Storr, Emma Stamp and Richard Drewery who last year studied Public Services at the College and are now studying a Foundation degree in Crime and Community Safety joined Jack, at North Shields in Tyneside to climb aboard the James Cook, the specially designed 21 metre, 54 tonne steel-hulled yacht.

Steve Lennon, General Manager of OYT North commented, “Bringing the students together with Jack and them assisting him around the boat perfectly captures the essence of what adventure sailing is all about. Ability is no barrier when you’re working as a team and whilst we had to stay in port due to bad weather, Jack was able to complete many of the tasks that we would perform on the open sea in preparation for a return visit and sail in May next year.”

The young people were guided onboard by Skipper Grace Metcalfe and were taught how to take responsibility for the running of the boat, sharing tasks and working as a team to achieve the best outcomes for the entire group.

The students used the experience to work towards their Royal Yachting Association Competent Crew Certificate, a beginners course designed for those interested in becoming active crew members and covers elements such as knowledge of sea terms and parts of a boat, rigging and sails, sail handling, rope work, fire precautions and fighting, personal safety equipment, man overboard, emergency equipment, meteorology, seasickness, and helmsmanship.
Steve concluded, “OYT North recently received a donation of £2,000 from marine insurers North P&I Club and we will be using this money to help fund three voyages in 2012 for visually impaired children and hope that three of them will then go on to be chosen to sail on the London to Portland Small Ships Race in June.”

For further information about Ocean Youth Trust North please visit If you would like to book a sailing trip or request further information please email or phone Rachel in the office on 0191 257 1212.

To find out more about the work of Hull Actionaires, visit  or for details about the range of courses at Hull College visit

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