William and Kate’s Royal wedding gift to sailing charity

AT THE HELM Prince William had sailing training in Gosport in 2006.    Picture: Steve Reid (061789-37)

AT THE HELM Prince William had sailing training in Gosport in 2006. Picture: Steve Reid (061789-37)

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THE marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton will not only be a day of national celebration, it will also mean a fundraising boost for one local charity.

The Ocean Youth Trust South has been chosen as one of 26 charities to benefit from the Royal wedding charitable gift fund.

The Gosport-based trust helps around 500 young people boost their life skills every year by taking them on sailing adventures.

Chief executive Mark Todd said: ‘We were approached two weeks ago and were told the Royal couple were interested in the work the Ocean Youth Trust carried out.

‘We were just amazed. I think it’s a great way to celebrate the wedding.

‘It’s fantastic to feel the work we have been doing with young people has been recognised.

‘We hope it will inspire more young people from all backgrounds to want to sail with us.

‘We are a small charity and this could make a really significant difference to our future.’

Two-thirds of the young people who sail with the trust are from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Mr Todd added: ‘We’re very much about working with young people and encouraging them to find employment or a university place.

‘We work with young people from all backgrounds and a lot of them are not in employment, education or training.

‘It’s massively important for some of these people we work with to get away from the stresses and strains of their lives.

‘We don’t know how the couple heard of us but we just happen to be fundraising for a new sailing boat so it’s perfect timing.’

The Ocean Youth Trust helps young people, including those in care and young offenders.

The trust also works with charities such as Naomi House to offer the siblings of terminally-ill children the chance to enjoy a sailing expedition.

The 26 charities set to benefit from the wedding were all chosen personally by Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Cash donated to the international fund will be held by the Foundation of Prince William and Prince Harry.

The money will then be distributed by the foundation’s trustees.

Donations can be made through the fund’s website at royalweddingcharityfund.co.uk. To find out how to sail with the Ocean Youth Trust, visit oytsouth.org.

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