The fundraising aims of The Excelsior Trust are:
- to preserve the Excelsior ship and other historic sailing vessels
- to authentically sail and maintain her
- to make Excelsior available to challenge and develop young people
The Excelsior Experience
The Excelsior Experience is a carefully tailored programme of activities that offers young people the opportunity for change culminating in a seaborne adventure that creates lifelong memories. The Excelsior Trust aims to provide experiences that act as a turning point at which young people can be encouraged to avoid involvement in antisocial behaviour, petty crime, excessive alcohol consumption and substance abuse.
Over the next five years the Trust’s work will focus on working with young people who are at risk, socially excluded or disadvantaged. Excelsior will travel over 35,000 nautical miles around the western seaboard of Europe with groups of young people from all walks of life including areas with significant deprivation, social exclusion and drugs, gun and gang crime.
It is widely recognised that deep learning is more likely to be achieved through young people not merely being told how to do something, or indeed being shown how to do it, but rather by actually doing it for themselves. When young people board Excelsior they enter another world, a world of adventure and challenge. They have a real task to complete; they have become a crew member and their ship has to sail safely to a stated destination and back within a set period of time. Their background is set aside in a challenging yet controlled and supportive environment. They are given a fresh chance.
Young people experience new adventures, develop new skills, make new friends, see new places and conquer their fears and anxieties. Offering young people the experience to work as part of a team at sea increases their social confidence, their ability to work with others, take responsibility, increase self esteem and confidence. In many cases they amaze themselves and take away newly acquired self-knowledge which allows them to have hope and ambition they previously lacked. The results can be long lasting and life changing.
Excelsior is able to offer a fully residential seaborne experience. A five day voyage allows the ship to sail from Lowestoft to France, Belgium, or the Netherlands and back. On such a voyage the ship generally accommodates ten young people, two staff from their organisation and its own professional crew. However, the overall programme starts long before the ship sets sail and starts in a young person’s own environment at school, within a youth centre or in partnership with other charities and voluntary agencies.
Excelsior works with a wide range of young people including those that are disadvantaged, at risk, in care, involved in offending behaviour of who have specialist conditions such as Asperger’s syndrome, dyspraxia or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
She is also available to mainstream education providers and to individuals for private charter.
Some participants, and their organisations, are simply unable to meet the full cost of a voyage and we are fundraising to develop a Bursary Fund which will enable the Trust to provide a subsidy. Through establishing a Bursary Fund of £5,000 we hope to be able to offer more young people the opportunity for a fully residential seaborne experience. The full cost of a 5 day voyage on the Excelsior is £450 per person. The Trust would be like to be able to subsidise this by around £150 per person, in cases where cost is likely to restrict a group coming to us from a particularly disadvantaged area or background. We anticipate that a Bursary Fund of £5,000 will help at least 30 more disadvantaged young people to take part, in a twelve month period.
Providing a Bursary
Any contribution, however small, will help us to offer this life-changing opportunity to another young person. In return Excelsior Trust will actively highlight any contribution made in future press releases, associated press articles and on our website.
Become a Social Supporter
The Trust ensures that “Excelsior” continues to be sailed. We also ensure that everyone interested in old sailing ships can socialise, meet and talk about maritime heritage, and have hands-on experience too if desired. And generally we help to ensure that communities maintain their links with old ships.
The Excelsior Trust runs a regular social fundraising programme for its supporters – one of the benefits of joining. As well as being welcomed by our supporters, these events help to raise funds and keep the ship sailing. Fundraising events are often held at the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club in Lowestoft, but also at other venues in Suffolk and Norfolk.
By joining as a Friend or Governor, supporters will receive regular Newsletters, keeping them in touch with on-board activities, inviting them to forthcoming events and informing them about maritime heritage.
You can also find out more about how you can help The Excelsior Trust by getting in touch.