A BARONESS has come on board to support a youth trust’s sailing programme.
Felicity Cunliffe-Lister, Baroness Masham, has joined the board of trustees at Ocean Youth Trust North, a youth development and sail training charity based in North Shields.
The Baroness comes from a family of five master mariners and wants young people to experience the same opportunities she enjoyed through sailing.
She said: “Learning to sail has given me the chance to see the world, make friends, learn how to work as part of a team and become self-reliant and determined.
“By becoming a trustee of Ocean Youth Trust North I can give something back to young people in our region.
“Sail training is one of the best ways to help a person grow in confidence and equip them with useful skills and resources they can rely on throughout their lives.”
OYTN provides young people with the opportunity to sail on the James Cook, a purpose built 70-foot 54-tonne ketch, under the expert tuition of skipper Grace Metcalfe, a former crew member.
While on board young people learn how to navigate, set the sails, take the helm and take responsibility for all cooking and cleaning as well as developing their team work, leadership, communication and problem solving skills.
The trust is based at the Royal Quays Marina in North Shields where James Cook is berthed and its youth development programmes are aimed at young people aged 12 to 25 from groups such as schools and colleges, youth clubs, local authorities and groups working with the disabled or disadvantaged.
The Baroness is proprietor of Swinton Park luxury hotel and sporting estate in Masham, and a lifelong sailing enthusiast and qualified instructor.
Steve Lennon, general manager of OYTN, said: “We are so pleased that Baroness Masham has agreed to join our board of trustees.
“She works tirelessly to raise money for a whole range of charities, especially ours, and believes passionately in the merits of our work with young people.”
Although her day job involves running a luxury castle hotel, wedding venue and 20,000 acre sporting estate, the Baroness still keeps a 21-foot keelboat in Devon and is currently teaching her young children to sail in the school holidays.
She has taught sailing in Australia and the Mediterranean, worked on private yachts and captained her University sailing team.