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Sarah – a determined young person
I am Sarah; I am almost 22 and was diagnosed with mild dyspraxia when I was around 10/11 years old.
In July 2011 my sixth form teacher asked us if anyone of us wanted to take part in sail training residential with Tall Ships Youth Trust onboard their Brig Stavros S Niarchos sponsored by HSBC. I applied to take part and got the place, even though I had never done any sailing before.
I had been on plenty of camps with the air cadets so being away from home wasn’t an issue but it was something completely different. I learnt plenty throughout the week and gained my RYA competent crew certificate. The trip was brilliant and at the end of the week, they asked me to join the group of volunteers who help run the ship on voyages for both adults and young people. Since then I have taken up many opportunities to volunteer as a deckhand for the Trust and being a volunteer for them made me aware of other sail training organisations.
Following this volunteer work over the last few years it meant last year I was able to take part in the ASTO International exchange to Canada sponsored by the James
This year I was fortunate enough to secure a last-minute place as voyage crew on-board morning star of revelation and over the six weeks was able to achieve my RYA Watch leader Certificate.
When I am not sailing in the holidays I am a full-time chemical engineering student at Aston University. I had to take a gap year between leaving the sixth form and starting uni to re-sit one of my exams. However, it hasn’t stopped me and I am now going into my third year after achieving a first in both my first and second year. I get the extra help I need at uni including a note-taker in lectures, extra time and study support sessions to help me manage and organise my time when I need it.
I have included a couple of links here that may be of interest for you to read:
https://www.tallships.org/Pages/Category/our-fleet (Link to Tall Ships Youth Trust, Stavros S Niarchos Page)
https://uksailtraining.org/international-exchange/(Link to my exchange report is the left under past exchange reports Sarah Asplin to Canada)