Bring Your Passion to Peldon Rose: Sailing the Solent

A young boy standing next to some sail boats on a beach. The boats have white and yellow sails.

My passion for sailing started when my father taught me the ropes aged 7. I loved the freedom it gave me and it was a beautiful way to bond with him. Over the years, it has brought me so much joy. At 21, after an incredible sailing holiday in Turkey, I completed my Coastal Skippers Certificate, dreaming of sailing big boats in the Mediterranean.

Before I knew it, life took over and as my career progressed, I sailed less and less – but the desire to sail again never died. Now, I’m teaching my kids to sail, sharing the skills they’ll need in life like independence, responsibility and communication, in the hopes that they’ll one day do the same with their own families.

Sailing provides the ideal medium to teach the importance and power of teamwork. It’s so much more than just getting into a boat, and is something I believe everyone should experience. When I joined Peldon Rose late last year, I quickly discovered the opportunity to bring my interest into action at work.

Hearing stories of Peldon Rose’s adventures on the ski slopes and running trails, it quickly became clear that my new colleagues unite in pursuing their passions far beyond the walls of the working day. After sharing my sailing interests, I wanted to do the same, so set to work to organise a day trip. I found the Rona Sailing Project through a friend at my Sailing Club and thought it would be a great opportunity to support a fantastic cause, while getting to know the team.

Rona Sailing Project is a charity whose mission is to provide children and young adults with the opportunity to learn how to sail, making it accessible to those with learning disabilities, mental health issues, people in recovery from substance misuse and individuals living with chronic conditions. Its goal is to expand the horizons of young people who may not usually have this kind of opportunity, to spark joy and to teach them valuable life skills that they can use every day. They are a volunteer-led charity, who host corporate and private sessions to subsidise their youth sail training initiative.

A boat on its stand in a harbour at sunset. There are more boats on the background.
A sail boat out on the water on a sunny day.

A group of the team joined me on a voyage with the Rona Sailing Project, where we spent a day sailing the Solent. Our day started bright and early at 08:30. Travelling together to the Universal Marina on the River Hamble, we boarded and prepped our vessel, the 75-foot Donald Searle, before enjoying a continental breakfast on deck.

We split into two ‘watch’ groups – one group portside, and one starboard. Gently guided by Rona’s experienced volunteer watch leaders, we embarked on our passage down the Hamble into the Solent, past Cowes and Yarmouth, before anchoring just off Hurst Castle. After lunch on the boat and taking in the beautiful views of the castle, we set sail back up the Solent at 14:15 to finish the day back at the Marina for 17:00. Finally, after a successful maiden voyage, we made our way to the Banana Wharf restaurant for an early dinner of seafood and a couple of sundowner cocktails.

Rona Sailing Project does incredible work. The skills that we learned out on the water, such as team building, problem solving and resilience can be applied in all facets of life, and are essential skills for children’s learning and development. The committed volunteers bring the experience alive with their ability to energise the team, encourage teamwork and create a relaxed atmosphere, giving space for individuals to choose how involved they’d like to be. For us, it was a chance to learn something new, get to know each other outside of work and have fun, supporting a vitally important cause while doing so.

You can learn more about Rona Sailing Project, their corporate sailing days and the important work they do at their website.

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