The Jubilee Sailing Trust, a sail training charity that helps people to feel alive again, has launched an urgent appeal to save it from administration.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) has announced that it will be forced into ceasing operations ending a 44-year history, unless it can urgently raise a minimum of £500,000 by Thursday April 14.

A total of £1.2 million must be raised by the end of September 2022 to secure its future.

All donations raised will go to enable JST to continue to fund existing ship and shore operational activities – the charitable sail training organisation enables able-bodied and disabled people to see the world aboard traditional sailing vessels.

All funds will be ring fenced until the target is achieved.

PBO columnist Sam Llewellyn shares his experience of the Jubilee Sailing Trust

Jubilee,Sailing,Trust's Tall Ship Tenacious, pictured off the Isle of Wight

Jubilee Sailing Trust’s Tenacious, pictured from the Isle of Wight. Credit: Patrick Eden / Alamy Stock Photo

I used to sail with my great friend Tony. He was a large person of intrepid habits, and when you were on the helm on a black night in a big wind you could tell he was on the foredeck because you could hear him laughing.

He was one of those people who felt properly alive only with a deck under his feet.

Then he contracted a vile bug that ate his spinal column, and he landed up first in a coma and then in a wheelchair, paralysed from the chest down.

We took him sailing, slithering him over planks into the cockpit of a Shrimper and ushering him into the tennis-court sized cockpit of someone’s catamaran.

He smiled, appreciative of the efforts, but you could tell it was not doing it for him, and that the real sensation of a big boat in a big sea was missing from his life.

One day a couple of friends signed themselves and him up for a trip on the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s specially-adapted three-masted barque Tenacious.

I saw him before he went, and he was apprehensive, because I think he thought it was going to be another of those outings that were well meant but did not quite do it for him.

Lord Nelson square rigged sailing training ship belonging to the Jubilee Trust

Lord Nelson square rigged sail training ship belonging to the Jubilee Sailing Trust. Credit: Sunpix Marine / Alamy Stock Photo

Igniting a fire

I saw him after he came back, and he was a new man – still in that damn wheelchair, but with the fire back in his eye and his laugh once again rattling the windows.

He had spent a couple of weeks on the Tenacious with the blue water roaring past him, and the Tenacious people had not only provided exactly the right amount of care, but had put him to work and even sent him, wheelchair and all, up the special hoist to the mainyard, where he had pitched in with sail handling.

It was a revelation to him, and the joy it brought lasted him for the rest of his life.

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But it is a revelation that thanks to the pandemic disasters of the last couple of years is in danger of vanishing.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust, who run the Tenacious and her sister ship Lord Nelson, are in a financial crisis, and unless they can raise half a million pounds by next week they are in danger of vanishing from the face of the earth – taking with them the joy they brought back into the life of my friend Tony and thousands like him.

Half a million quid is the price of the aquarium on a billionaire’s superyacht. In the absence of billionaires, it is up to us to keep the Jubilee Sailing Trust going.

Every little bit helps.

How to donate

Find the appeal at:

Watch the BBC travel show film at: