Charity is buoyed by fund award

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A LEADING marine insurance association has donated £3,000 to fund life-changing sailing expeditions for young people.

The North of England P&I Association (North P&I Club) donated the funds to North Shields-based Ocean Youth Trust (OYT) North for its work in providing personal development opportunities for people aged 12 to 25 through adventure under sail.

OYT North is one of several charities nominated by the Newcastle firm to receive donations from the North 150 fund, set up to mark the firm’s 150th anniversary in 2010.

Michael Asherson, associate director, North P&I Club, said: “The north east has been our home for over 150 years and we believe strongly in being able to give something back to the community in which we live and do business.

“Our staff chose OYT North as a beneficiary because we share a strong maritime connection.

“They all value the work the trust does providing our young people with the opportunity to travel, work as part of a team, learn valuable life skills, discipline and a powerful sense of responsibility while at sea.”

Steve Lennon, general manager at OYT North, said: “We are incredibly grateful to North P&I Club for this donation.

“Our work relies on generous donations to enable us to bring about life-changing experiences and personal development opportunities for young people who need them.

“This donation will enable us to help more young people from a wide range of schools, colleges, youth clubs, charities, local authorities and groups working with the disabled or disadvantaged, by introducing them to adventure under sail on-board James Cook.”

OYT North celebrated the 25th anniversary of the launch of its yacht James Cook in 2012, and its skipper Grace Metcalfe capped off a great year by winning the International Young Sail Trainer of the Year Award from Sail Training International.

OYT North estimates that it has welcomed more than 10,000 young people on board sail training expeditions since 1987.

Other organisations supported by North P&I Club’s North 150 fund include The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Newcastle Falcons’ youth outreach programme.