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 almost 50 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 13 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.

Get in touch

For more information about sail training opportunities, or for any other enquiries, contact us on:

Tel: 01752 823007

We Are Committed to Helping:

  • Young people from inner cities and areas of deprivation
  • Those suffering financial hardship
  • Those with behavioural difficulties
  • Those with special educational needs, including
    The visually and hearing impaired
    Young people with learning difficulties
    Young people with learning and/or physical disability

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


The Boshier-Hinton FoundationIn 2019 we were kindly supported by The Boshier-Hinton Foundation who provided a grant of £2,000 towards a six-day residential voyage for young people from a special school in Staffordshire.



In 2019 The Whirlwind Charitable Trust awarded a generous £10,000 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.



DM Thomas Foundation£9,500 awarded in 2019 by DM Thomas Foundation for Young People. Their generosity will enable us to ensure that we continue to provide the sail training and equipment required to support young people with learning or physical disabilities.

What We Do

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