The Island Trust

Enabling young people to get on the water since 1973

The Island Trust

The Island Trust, a registered charity, formed in 1973 has been supporting deserving young people for over 40 years. The founder, Richard (Dick) Lloyd MBE is passionate about traditional wooden boats and strives to address the inequalities in access to the benefits of sailing. He remains determined that financial and social barriers to participation should be removed.

The Island Trust provides life-enhancing, residential and day-sailing activities for young people with special needs, disabilities, and those experiencing hardship and deprivation. We award disadvantaged young people the opportunity to not only widen their horizons but also develop their skills and capabilities through the joy and challenge of learning to sail. Beneficiaries are aged primarily from 14 – 18 but on occasion, may be as young as 10 and can be up to the age of 25. Our bursaries are wholly based on need and can be up to 100% of costs.

Based in Plymouth, our small fleet of traditional sailing vessels are operated by our subsidiary company Island (Cutter) Limited. Young people live aboard, learn to sail, navigate and passage plan, as well as developing social skills and experience independent living.  All accommodation, tuition, food, learning resources and safety equipment is provided on board. Through our programs our young sailors return to their schools and communities with increased motivation, leadership and communication skills, and a fresh perspective on their self-worth and abilities.

We firmly believe in social inclusion and equality. We provide the opportunities, financial and moral support, and the sail training expertise for those who could not otherwise contemplate taking part in activities of this kind.

We work with individuals, schools, youth groups, church and community organisations, offering entry-level Royal Yachting Association Training Courses, which contribute to CVs and long-term employment prospects as well as raising aspiration and confidence in young people who are often marginalized and vulnerable.

To support our charitable work we run Sail Training voyages for independent individuals aged 12 to 19 years during the school holidays, a number of RYA Competent Crew, Day Skipper Practical, Yachtmaster Preparation & Exam courses for all ages throughout the sailing season, and occasional voyages specifically for adults.

Click here to go to our Contact page.

We Are Committed to Helping:

  • The visually and hearing impaired
  • Young people with learning difficulties
  • Those with special educational needs
  • Those with behavioural difficulties
  • Offenders or those at risk of offending
  • Those from various types of rehabilitation programme
  • Young people from inner cities and areas of deprivation

The Island Trust is very grateful for the support it receives both locally and nationally from many generous donors, charities, and grant making trusts.


At the end of 2016 we were pleased to be awarded £3,280 by Awards for All England – The Big Lottery Fund. The money enabled us to run a very successful junior and youth Easter 2017 holiday sailing school. After attending a taster day, two groups of individuals aged 10 – 19 learnt the basics of navigation, steering, raising the sails and manoeuvring our gaff rigged pilot cutter, Pegasus.

We are incredibly grateful for funding from Arts Council England through the PRISM fund which enabled us to carry out keel repairs during the winter of 2017/18, including a new inner stem and stronger floors.


In 2017 we were kindly supported by the Cornwall Community Foundation who provided funding from their Tuppenny Trust Fund for personal development courses for young people from Cornwall in 2018. You can find out more about the work of the Cornwall Community Foundation by clicking on their logo.


In 2018 the Big Lottery Fund awarded a generous £9,500 to our Ocean Discoverability day sail programme. Ocean Discoverability supports young people from special needs schools and day centres in Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall, some with life-limiting conditions.

What We Do

Please support The Island Trust in its work with deserving young people.