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How it began

The JST was founded in 1978 through the extraordinary vision of a dedicated group of people working against the odds to make their dream a reality.

Our co-founder, Christopher Rudd, first began working with disabled children by teaching them to sail in dinghies. He believed that most of the constraints that prevented them sailing further offshore were artificial and could be overcome. He also believed that if disabled and non-disabled people were to sail alongside each other, it would help break down the prejudices and misunderstandings between different social groups. His vision was to use thoughtful design and equipment to create a fully accessible ship to be crewed by a mixed ability crew.

Through the partnership between Christopher and his co-founder Dr Tony Hicklin, and backed by the fundraising efforts and invaluable support of our former Chairman Francis Cator and our President The Hon Jacquetta Cator, the JST was formed and Lord Nelson was built.

After the launch of Lord Nelson, the JST grew from strength to strength, and demand for berths on voyages began to outstrip supply. With this in mind, in 1992, Lindsey Neve, then Director of the JST made it her aim to fundraise for the build of a second ship. A year later, naval architect Tony Castro was commissioned to design Tenacious. Many of the volunteers who helped build her, working alongside professional shipwrights, still sail the ship today.

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Today

In our first 40 years, over 50,000 people sailed with the JST. Our work with disabled people has always been a crucial part of what we do, and has been recognised across the world, including by the United Nations. But over the years we have learned that we also make a profound difference for people from many other social groups. And so our Mission has evolved.

Today, the JST remains truly unique – no other organisation anywhere in the world does what we do. And yet we know there is a greater need than ever for our work and the difference we make. That knowledge fuels our passion to make an even bigger impact by giving even more people of mixed abilities and circumstances the freedom to explore their ability, potential and place in the world and to promote an inclusive world where we can all contribute and feel valued.

JST

JST