2023 Ignite Sailing Trip

In July 2023, Ignite Life took a group of 5 young people on a life changing sailing adventure with The Island Trust. After months of planning, organising, and fundraising our team of 5 amazing young people and 4 youth workers travelled down to Plymouth Yacht Haven for our 5-night trip.

It was tough and extremely challenging at times but the way each young person pushed through their own difficulties, helped one another, and showed outstanding resilience was a joy to watch and be a part of.

We had beautiful sunny days where dolphins swam alongside us as we pulled up the sails and steered to Cornwall, and we had rainy, rocky and not so fun moments with plenty of wobbles. But after each rocky patch, the way each young person check in on each other and picked one another up was outstanding (with the help of our mascot potato, Peggy Sue!).
Peggy Sue (Our Mascot)

Day 1:

After picking up each of our young people we started our car journey down to Plymouth where we were welcomed by The Island Trust and shown to our home on water for the next 5 nights. We tried on our sailing gear and had a tour of the ship including being shown our very close for comfort sleeping arrangements! We then went to the beach for some football and an explore before heading back to the ship for our first meal together and debrief of our first day out on the water.

Day 2:

After a tough night sleep, getting used to essentially a giant sleepover in cramped conditions, we woke for a team breakfast.

Today the team spent the day sailing around the local area getting familiar with the ship, the language used and figuring outhow to work as a team. We saw dolphins, put up the sails and got the chance to steer the ship.

Day 3:

Today we sailed to Cawsand Bay where we anchored up and took the little dinghy to the beach for ice cream, a coastal walk and a swim in the very cold sea! What an adventure this was, many of our young people hadn’t visited many other areas, swam in the sea before, or ever been on a boat! This day we really saw the team come together, with lots of laughter, encouragement to get in the water and team meals.

Day 4:

Last night we slept on the ship while it was anchored in the bay, this was slightly rockier than being docked at the harbour but our young people, after a refreshing dip in the sea jumping off the ship and a filling breakfast, were ready to get started with the next sailing adventure. So, we set off to Fowey! The team worked together, taking it in terns to steer the ship, be on watch, prepare meals for others, and pull up the sails and we made it to the beautiful coastal town. With pure joy on the young peoples’ faces as we got to experience seeing Fowey from the ship, we anchored up and got a taxi boat to the shore for more ice creams and another swim in the sea.

Day 5:

We were all on such a high after such an amazing day of new experiences and adventures, we woke up and sailed to Mevagissey! It was slightly more drizzly today with a few more waves to manage, but our team pulled together, supported those who were feeling a little more sea sick than others, and we made it to yet another beautiful coastal town. We got chips, played on the beach, and swam in the freezing sea (those who were brave enough to!).

Day 6:

Our last morning waking up on board the ship! Some of the group woke up and jumped straight in the sea while the others got our team breakfast prepared then we set sail for home.

Today was the toughest day of them all, the sea was rocky and we all had to be clipped in as the waves crashed and made walking around unstable. At times it got quite scary and sea sickness hit us all, this was the biggest test for us and there were moments where we had to really lean on each other for support and comfort. After we made it through the rocky sea to a slightly more calmer sail, we were able to process the last hour. The way our young people acknowledged their fear and nervousness was outstanding, we all looked after each other, the young people checking in their peers and processing the challenge we just faced and got through.

As we sailed into the harbour for our last, our team was closer than ever and able to talk about what they found tough and what they loved.

It will be an experience we will all keep with us forever.All the young people completed their competent sailing training, one young person completed their advanced sailing course and was offered a volunteer job as a third mate on their ships!

Before we set sail, our skipper asked our group for their sailing goals for the week. Our group of young people surprised us by stating they wanted to work on trust, and teamwork (as well as steering and swimming in the sea!). When we left the ship, the young people completed feedback forms where they got the chance to reflect and when asked what they learnt and how the experience changed them, they answered ‘that team work is key and benefits you’, ‘teamwork and trust is key to survive’, ‘it made me a better team player and help out more’ 🧡


The Ignite team could not be prouder of our group of brave, hardworking, and caring young people.

lots of illustrated light bulbs of different size and distance away

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Whether you are a young person needing support, you are a family member or carer, you support a young person or family, or you want to get involved in any way, get in contact with us!

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