Our Staff

Meet The Island Trust’s Crew – both on and off the water!

Ben

Ben

Skipper

Hi! When I was 15 I joined the sail training vessel Greater Manchester Challenge for a voyage from North Wales to Ireland. I can still remember the trip now! I also remember my dad pointing at the 25 year old skipper saying “can you see yourself driving a boat like this in ten years’ time?”  I started my RYA Competent Crew certificate on that voyage and since then, in a roundabout way, have found myself as a sail training Skipper! I always remember how I felt as a teenager and I like helping others to achieve so much more than they thought themselves capable of. See you on the water, Ben.

Craig

Craig

Skipper

I started sailing when I was fifteen; I was awarded a bursary to do a trip on TS Royalist, the Sea Cadets’ square rigger. I didn’t really want to go and tried to send a mate instead, but they forced me anyway and it turns out I quite like being at sea. I did a few more trips with the Sea Cadets on Royalist, including the 2005 Tall Ships Race and got my Competent Crew on one of their yachts before deciding I wanted to do sail training full time. I did a year as a volunteer bosun and have worked my way up in qualifications since to become Mate and then Skipper, sailing many different boats in lots of exciting places, always enjoying the beach bonfires, whale spotting and starry night sails and still ever reliant on milky coffee; the odd epic film soundtrack and awful cheese jokes.

Hannah

Hannah

Skipper / Mate

Hi, I’m Hannah. I first went on a sail training voyage in 2008 and enjoyed it so much that I was soon sailing as a volunteer with the Ocean Youth Trust. This gave me opportunities to sail in the UK and abroad, including to Iceland, the Netherlands and Norway. I started working for the Island Trust in 2014, since then I’ve sailed with a wide range of groups on all three boats. I’ve taken part in events such as ASTO Small Ships Races and Paimpol festival, as well as becoming an RYA Cruising Instructor. I particularly enjoy meeting new people and having opportunities to visit and explore new ports.

Laura

Laura

Mate

I began sailing 6 years ago, where I did the 2010 Tall Ships Race from Kristiansand in Norway, to Hartlepool, UK on board the sail training vessel James Cook. That’s what got me hooked, and I became a volunteer for the Ocean Youth Trust North on James Cook.  They trained me up from scratch to get my qualifications and pass my first mates assessment. And during that time I’ve sailed on lots of various sail training boats. In 2013 I was selected to take part in the ASTO International Exchange, representing the UK sailing in Canada on Lake Ontario. Once I had finished uni, I spent my first season sailing professionally as a second mate and relief first mate for Gordonstoun School up on the West Coast of Scotland. And now I’m here for the next adventure. I’m also hoping to sail in both the Arctic and Antarctic later this year.

Ollie

Ollie

Mate

I started sailing with Cremyll Sailing in 2009 when I was 12 on a trip across the Bristol Channel on Tectona. After that I was hooked and averaged around 4/5 trips a year with Cremyll Sailing/The Island Trust (Cremyll Sailing merged with The Island Trust in 2012), taking part in everything from Teenage Weeks to the Tall Ships Races to the Small Ships Races. In 2014 I started to do more sailing with other charities and came across a ‘Cadetship’ with Ocean Youth Trust Scotland to which I applied for and was successful in getting. I then spent until October 2016 with OYT and in that time went from being a Day Skipper to a Cruising Instructor and passed out as an OYT First Mate. Now I’m looking forward to being back on gaffers and sailing with The Island Trust in a slightly warmer part of the world!

Roo

Roo

2nd Mate

Hi, I’m Roo, Tectona’s second mate. My introduction to sailing came five years ago, when I took part in a school trip onboard Tectona for a week with The Island Trust. Having enjoyed this week so much, and experiencing how much I grew as a person from it, I came back and sailed with the Island Trust on many occasions afterwards. I’m now part of the sea staff onboard Tectona, with the opportunity to try and help all the young people that come on voyages as much as I have been helped previously. I really enjoy working with young people, helping them to experience what will hopefully be one of the best weeks of their lives. During my time sailing as a young person I was able to experience a wide range of sailing opportunities and different events, but my overall favourite sailing situation has to be night sailing with cloudless skies. The amount of stars you can see is simply magical. I look forward to welcoming you onboard during the year!

Katie

Katie

Volunteer Crew

Hey my name is Katie; I started sailing in 2012 when I was just 11 years old. My first ever sailing experience was on The Island Trust boat Moosk, where I travelled along the beautiful coast line from Plymouth up to London. This trip opened my eyes to what sailing was all about and soon after I found myself asking for any sailing opportunities during all of my school holidays. It wasn’t long before sailing became my passion and I started to volunteer for The Island Trust in June 2016. While enjoying sailing so much I have since been lucky enough to experience opportunities such as both the ASTO Small Ships and STI Tall Ships Races. During my time at the Tall Ships Races in the Baltic Sea I had the chance to experience sailing in all weathers to Finland, Lithuania, Poland, Denmark and Germany. Although I enjoy every second that I spend at sea my most enjoyable moments must be steering into a beautiful sunrise after a long night sail. Having all of these sailing experiences I have found that I have grown so much as a person and I look forward to helping create this positive impact on as many young peoples’ lives as I can.

Tom

Tom

Operations Manager

My name is Tom. I have built my career around sail training and sailing, skippering boats in various Tall Ships races and a season in the Caribbean. (That was hard!). I started sailing dinghy’s aged six. When I left college I worked in a boatyard in Cornwall. Then got a job as bosun with the Cirdan Sailing Trust. I worked there for 5½ years. The last 2½ years skippering Duet which included Tall Ships Races and the Americas Cup Jubilee. I then moved to Plymouth skippering a large ketch. I started with The Island Trust as skipper before becoming the Operations Manager.

Helen

Helen

Voyage Administrator

Hi I’m Helen and I look after bookings for The Island Trust. My first experience of sailing was at the age of 9 when my father bought a polystyrene boat which my sister and I painted bright yellow. We did not have the best of starts when we launched on the River Thames and almost sailed over a weir! These days I’m happy sailing on the Trust’s three beautiful boats and experiencing first-hand how much enjoyment people gain from being at sea. The best part of my job is hearing about the positive impact that sail training brings to so many young lives.

Julie

Julie

Fundraising Manager

Hello. I have been the fundraiser for The Island Trust for more than two years but prior to that I worked directly with young people and I regularly sent groups sailing with them. Having seen the positive impact that a voyage has on (sometimes challenging or vulnerable) young people I firmly believe that the experience of being on board changes lives and futures. Although I am a huge lover of the sea and marine/coastal environment, I am somewhat of a latecomer to sailing and I remain thrilled by the sight of the boats in full sail. I completely understand how the young crews feel nervous, excited and proud of their achievements in working together to sail and navigate these beautiful traditional vessels.

Jane

Jane

Bookkeeper

I’m Jane and I am The Island Trust’s Bookkeeper. I’ve been with The Island Trust since 2007. As well as looking after the charity’s finances, I manage the website, company administration, and a whole host of other things. I love the sea and was lucky to grow up in a seaside town; famous for its harbour wall, The Cobb, and the Monmouth Rebellion, an attempt to overthrow King James II, when The Duke of Monmouth landed on the town’s beach on 11 June 1685. There is nothing quite like the sound of the waves, the smell of the salty water and the fresh clean air to invigorate you. Working for this amazing sail training charity isn’t just a job to me, it’s a passion!