RYA foundation hero with logo and image of young boy and man smiling in sailing dinghy.

Please donate to make a general donation, or to support our dedicated Youth Fund.

RYA Foundation 

We are the RYA’s national charity and support clubs and centres around the UK

We support sailing centres, Sailability sites, other charities and foundations who organise the facilities and activities to get on the water. Largely charitable and run by volunteers, they are constantly fundraising to keep abreast of equipment and safety requirements and volunteer training. Our grants help pay for these, often through match funding.  

Since its creation in 2013, the RYA Foundation has...


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Gifted £440,000 to clubs, Sailability sites and organisations

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Made it possible for 15,000 people to experience sailing

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Given grants to over 80 projects


Looking for funds? How the Foundation can help you

RYA Foundation Funding

a group of smiling children on a sailing dinghy

Does your organisation need help with funding for a worthwhile project? 

RYA Foundation Youth Fund

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Are you a sailor under the age of 25 looking for funding?


The RYA Foundation gives grants to provide inclusive boating opportunities for those in need.

Meet the Trustees

We are a grant giving foundation run by a small volunteer board of trustees who meet quarterly to consider grant applications and manage the charity’s affairs. The Foundation employs no staff and has no physical assets. Trustees receive administration support from the staff of the RYA.



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Not only an experienced sailor, Debbie has been part of the fabric of the RYA Sailability programme for 20 years. Her passion continues as chair of the foundation, not only transforming the foundation but striving to provide more opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged young people through focused grant giving.


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Abi joined the Foundation to give back to the sport that has given her so much. When she saw the RYA magazine advert for Trustees she knew she wanted to get involved. Constantly inspired by the commitment of volunteers, she brings expertise in investing and impact measurement to the board. 


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From his first taster session in an Optimist, Tim was hooked on sailing and is still a keen skipper.  Passionate that everyone should have equal access to boating, his background in media helps the Foundation find fresh ways to showcase our successful grant giving and keep the membership informed.


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Diana grew up sailing, for many years crewed and skippered with the BBC YC, and is now the proud owner of a Hallberg Rassy 31.  With her knowledge of business management and media, she is excited to see ties with the RYA strengthening and looks forward to increasing our impact.


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After developing a genetic eye condition, Alison searched for a hobby to replicate the exhilaration she’d had when horse riding.  Having found sailing, Alison became Chair of Lymington Sailability and Regional Organiser. Her experience of running a charity and working with many Sailability groups adds great value to the board. 


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Margaret has been involved with boats all her life and one summer enjoyed helping a local disabled sailing group. Professionally qualified as an accountant, her broad background in sailing and professional background in business and finance means she can enjoy using her skills and experience to support the Foundation. 


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A lifelong sailor, after a career with IBM Ed founded Portsmouth Sail Training Trust, a charity focused on raising the aspirations of socially deprived young people. Ed enjoys applying his broad experience, love for the sea and passion for addressing social deprivation to the aims of the Foundation.


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David is a management accountant.   After serving in the Royal Navy he joined the staff of the RYA and retired as Finance Director in 2013. Since 2005 he has acted as Company Secretary of the RYA Foundation and Secretary to the trustees, providing a welcome steady hand on the tiller.


Katherine has sailed since she was a child, she has a family who are all keen to spend as much time on the water as possible.

Katherine Neylan

Katherine has sailed since she was a child, she has a family who are all keen to spend as much time on the water as possible. Seeing how sailing and other watersports can make a real difference to people she joined the foundation to help others have the opportunity to be involved. Katherine is a Business Development and Marketing Director she hopes to combine her commercial and charity knowledge to benefit the foundation.


Support the RYA Foundation and make a difference

Want to make a difference to sailors, clubs, Sailability sites and organisations nationwide?

Please donate to make a general donation, or to support our dedicated Youth Fund.