The Coronavirus crisis put volunteering in the spotlight, an incredible ten million adults volunteered in their community. Since the start of lockdown, one in five UK adults have given in-kind support and most likely to continue after the pandemic. Both 2020 and the start of 2021 have been hard for us all emotionally and physically, however, acts like volunteering helped strengthen our wellbeing and sense of community.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust is no stranger to volunteering, in the early days our volunteers helped start the charity and build Tenacious. In recent years, we have seen skilled engineers and carpenters maintain our most vital assets, and loyal volunteers show up as ship and shore-based volunteers. As a small charity reliant on public support, donations and our branch volunteers across the UK help keep our message alive and represent the heart and community of the Jubilee Sailing Trust in places the ship may not have visited!

So, what are the benefits of volunteering?

Sense of purpose

Volunteers will often give their time to organisations they feel they have a connection to. This helps address a social problem that is meaningful to you as a volunteer and in turn helps to build a sense of purpose, which furthermore boosts your own happiness.  Tenacious is regularly maintained  to ensure the safety and comfort of all those who sail with us. Our Volunteers come from a wide range of professional backgrounds and work together to share their skills and expertise on Tenacious .

“Volunteering with maintenance means I know the ship, the permanent crew and members of the voyage crew so much better. I’ve built friendships with other volunteers. It feels good to help the JST in a very real way.” Neil Tigwell, Maintenance Volunteer.

Physical health

Volunteering with the Jubilee Sailing Trust has great health benefits that can boost your mental and – perhaps more surprisingly – physical health. As a Bosun’s Mate you play a crucial role in the day to day running of the ship, with plenty of time spent in the rigging, working closely with our voyage crew and helping with maintenance (and Happy Hour!). No day is the same onboard and there’s plenty to keep you busy!

“Sailing with the JST allows individuals to build their own confidence and push themselves to do things they never thought or believed they could (or was even possible), and certainly helped me to grow as a person in my leadership skills, decision making and teamwork which are invaluable assets in every walk of life – especially in professional environments. “ Jess Fox, Bosun’s Mate

Connecting with others, self confidence and self esteem

One of the best ways to make new friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together, and volunteering lets you do just that. Our branches bring together like-minded people and extend the JST community onshore as well as onboard. They are a network of support and branches are a crucial part of the JST family.

Judith who is a long term supporter and member of the Southampton branch explains “ Over time, my volunteering experiences have brought me into close contact with some lovely people of mixed abilities who can often seem to be so much more capable than myself when onboard ship. Sailing can be a great leveller of abilities and temperaments, a shared experience where all can benefit. ”

Fliss Green, Chief Mate on Tenacious is the ship’s main connection to the branches and explains that “Branches and Volunteers are the backbone of the trust helping us out when we visit ports and host open ships. It’s great to see the members when they come onboard or when we visit their closest port”.

For more information on volunteering and roles available please contact dawn.ingram@jst.org.uk