Naval Children to sail coast of UK on the adventure of a lifetime

The Naval Children’s Charity (NCC) and Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT) are partnering to offer a once in a lifetime opportunity for young people to sail the coast of the UK.

Four voyages are available for Naval children. For those aged 12-15 there will be three trips, with another expedition planned for children aged 16-25.

Setting sail from, or ending up in, either Portsmouth or Plymouth, the expedition lasts five days before making port.

Aboard one of TSYT’s iconic 72ft Challenger Yachts, the explorers of tomorrow will be involved in all aspects of sailing from ropework and sail handling to helming.

The crew will also learn valuable transferable skills. Working as a team, developing their communication and leadership skills, these young people will come away with the capability to overcome barriers, and excel in their transition to adulthood.

Naval Children’s Charity CEO, Clare Scherer said:

We are delighted to be able to offer more of these voyages to our children and young people again this year.  Those that went on the voyages last year had the most amazing time, forging friendships and bonding with their shared backgrounds from Naval families. “

The voyages will be completely subsidised by the NCC. For families that need extra support, grants are available for travel and kit (means tested). We would like to thank The Gosling Foundation, and The Morduant Foundation for their financial support.

There are ten positions available on each expedition. To apply, parents will need to fill out an application form; each child will also be required to supply a short statement on why they would like to take part. Places will be allocated based on the information provided on the expression on interest form, taking into account family circumstances, with a particular focus on the young person’s reasons for applying.

This opportunity is open to the child of any parent or guardian who is serving or is a veteran of the Royal Navy, including Royal Marines, WRNS, QARNNS, Reserves and Royal Fleet Auxiliary.  Please provide the service details of the parent or guardian when you enquire.

Details of voyages:

Voyage 1: Tuesday 1st August – Saturday 5th August Age 12-15yrs Portsmouth – Plymouth

Voyage 2: Monday 7th August – Friday 11th August Age 12-15yrs Plymouth – Portsmouth

Voyage 3: Monday 16th October – Friday 20th October Age 16-25yrs Portsmouth –


Voyage 4: Monday 23rd October – Friday 27th October Age 12-15yrs Portsmouth –


The closing date for applications for Voyages 1 and 2 is Friday 30 June

The closing date for applications for Voyages 3 and 4 is Friday 15 September

These voyages expand on the success of NCC and TSYT’s maiden expeditions in the summer of 2022.

Two crews sailed the coastline of Scotland on the Challenger yacht. Both sets of young people achieved their Royal Yachting Association (RYA) certificates, with three of our cohort continuing their RYA training with TSYT.

TSYT’s Director of Youth Development and Outdoor Learning, Kirsty French, said:

“We are excited to welcome another cohort of young people aboard one of our Challenger yachts as part of our ongoing partnership with the Naval Children’s Charity.

“Our previous NCC voyages during the Round Britain Adventure really enabled the young people to push themselves beyond their comfort zone, learning to work together to overcome shared challenges. We are looking forward to giving even more young people the opportunity to enjoy this truly transformational experience with Tall Ships Youth Trust.”

One parent from last year’s cohort said:

Before his dad left he was a confident, outgoing boy who had a wide friendship group and loved to make people laugh.  Sadly over the last few years he had become withdrawn and nervous.  What a difference the voyage has made….he has become much more confident and I’ve got my happy, smiling boy who likes to make people laugh back.”

This initiative furthers the NCC’s commitment to giving Naval children, ‘Life Chances’, expanding the reach of the charity to provide for all members of the community, not just those families in need of financial support.

Scherer added:

Much of our support focuses on families in crisis. However, we want our children and young people to not just survive but also to thrive and for our charitable support to repay a dividend to each of our beneficiaries for life.

“To achieve that we aim to offer them opportunities outside the norm, so that their horizons are wide and distant, and help them to appreciate that anything is within their reach. By providing those chances and showing them what could be possible, we aim to unlock the spirit in every child and help them achieve their full potential in life.

“Our Life Chances programme offers opportunities such as our partnership with the Tall Ships Youth Trust where our Naval young people can go on sponsored voyages experiencing a fantastic adventure as well as enabling them to achieve their RYA Competent Crew Certificate and, if appropriate, contribute towards the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.  Or the offer from ACE London Irish for budding Rugby players.”

This opportunity is open to all children aged between 12 and 25 with a veteran or serving Naval parent. For more details, please fill out this form, or get in touch via email

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