Brixham Junior Sailing Club (BJSC) has been showing young people the joys of sailing and teaching them how to do it safely and properly since 1989. A recognised RYA Training Centre and OnBoard club, it applied to Communities Can, a Big Lottery-funded scheme, for some professional consultancy late in 2016, in order to develop its skills, knowledge and confidence and to strengthen its impact in the community. This consultancy, from local social enterprise Clarity, helped the volunteers to apply for a number of grants, as well as make the club a fully-fledged charity.

When, in February 2017, BJSC suddenly found it had to move from its existing premises, the community rallied round to find a new space, and to get the club up and running, in a very short time. In addition, the local volunteers were able to make the most of their successful grant applications, as well as doing further fundraising, as the club’s Principal, Tim Corbett explains:

“We are very grateful to local councillors and the harbour authority who arranged for space to become available in the harbour compounds, and to the parents and local businesses who provided donations and free practical assistance during our move. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to complete our relocation in April, and we are delighted and grateful to be fully operational now.

“We have received a very generous grant of £5000 from Brixham Town Council with which we purchased three used Picos from the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation, £1500 from the Devon Community Fund towards new replacement sails, and £9500 from Sport England, with which we have just purchased a new safety RIB with a Suzuki engine from Excel boats to enable more youngsters to get on the water.

“In addition, our Chief Instructor, Mike Inness, and his friend Nick have just completed a cycle ride from John O’Groats to Land’s End (JOGLE) to raise funds for BJSC and Dementia UK.

BJSC is run by more than 30 volunteers, who receive no remuneration; some 15 are fully-qualified RYA instructors. The club currently comprises 33 junior students ranging in age from 9 to 18, plus six adults and a further 8 young members who are under training for either Assistant Instructor or Dinghy Instructor certificates. The club has 21 sailing dinghies and three safety boats. Each year it accepts up to fifteen new applicants and organises two sailing sessions every week, as well as some additional fun days during the season, training the youngsters to RYA standards. Subscriptions are kept as low as possible, to be affordable to all, and are currently just £65 per member each season.

The club website www.brixhamjsc.co.uk is full of news, information and photos. For more information, contact timcorbett@brixhamjsc.co.uk