News and Events
Usman sailing unlikely career path towards a different life
If you’d said to 10-year-old Usman Mohammed that when he grew up he was going to teach people how to sail, you would’ve been met with a blank stare. But Usman’s is a story of what is possible when an unlikely opportunity can open a door you didn’t even know existed.
Rewind six years and Usman, then 12, is a pupil at Queensbridge School in Balsall Heath, one of Birmingham’s most socially challenged areas and home to the city’s largest Pakistani community. This is a world where watersports doesn’t exist and where boys have a very poor track record of breaking the poverty cycle.
By his own admission, school didn’t interest Usman; he was unhappy, had outbursts of anger and a lot of responsibility looking after his younger siblings at home.
But, Usman’s Head at the time was Tim Boyes, a man who also chairs the Enterprise Sailing Trust, which helps young people from Birmingham communities like Usman’s positively re-engage at school. Usman was invited sailing with Enterprise Sailing on a local reservoir on a Pico, before joining them for a week-long trip on the Norfolk Broads a year later. Here his confidence grew and he proved to be a helpful, responsible crewmember.
In fact, so impressive was his attitude that the following year he was invited back as a Junior Leader, through which his boat management and aptitude continued to develop year-on-year as sailing turned his life around and became his anchor.
Now 18, Usman is helping to teach others to sail at Rockley Watersports at Bartley and, having already gained his RYA Powerboat Level 2 certificate, is being supported in becoming a qualified dinghy instructor while employed by Rockley. For the first time this summer, he also skippered a 22ft yacht on Enterprise Sailing’s Broads trip. Soon Usman will be able to teach sailing all over the world, with a wealth of further qualifications, career pathways and networking opportunities within the marine industry opening up before him.
Tim said: “Enterprise Sailing promotes social and cultural integration and gives vital life skills to young people with often complex family situations and who are disillusioned with education. The Trust is also passionate about opening up sailing to BAME and poorer urban communities.
"On his first Broads trip Usman was a young man who couldn’t express himself and wasn’t socially comfortable, but he responded well to adult attention in a way we hadn’t seen before. To now see him with the level of social confidence he has and following the pathway he is shows what’s possible when you break down barriers and provide an environment for young people to develop positive relationships and social skills.”
This is Usman’s story…
2018 Norfolk Broads Trip - One of our most successful trips
We are delighted to say that our 2018 Norfolk Broads Trip was one of our most successful we have run. Thirty young people were chosen from very different social and ethnic backgrounds from four different Birmingham secondary schools. Without access to motors, mobiles or electricity young people sailed, cooked and slept their way through sunshine, gale force winds, torrential rain and windless calm. We had it all! Despite these challenges the young peopled learned new life skills, sailed, navigated the whole of our planned route and even got some yachts racing in.
We take a team of volunteers who give their time to support this project. For the first time we managed the whole cruise without having a single paid member of staff. Our great team of 18 volunteers, 3 of whom were young leaders, were arguably the best we have ever had, with some fantastic new recruits who worked very well at sailing and teaching and supporting the children. At the end of a tough six-days young people made the following comments:
Despite suffering severe withdrawal symptoms from lack of sugar and zero mobile phone usage 21 young people ended the week wanting to return as young leaders on next year's cruise. We are offering these young people sailing, via two sailing clubs - Midland and Bartley - through their classes for young people, and are hoping to offer a group opportunity as well.
Thank you to all the young people who took part, the volunteers and the funders who supported the 2018 Norfolk Boards Trip.
Grantham Yorke Trust
Michael Marsh Trust (Incorporating the RH Willis Charitable Trust)
Baron Davenport's Charity
George Henry Collins
Joseph Hopkins and Henry James Sayer Charities
2017 Norfolk Broads Trip - A Great Success
Firstly, thank you to all our funders whose generosity made this trip possible – the Johnnie Johnson Trust; George Henry Collins Charity; the Grimmitt Trust; Lillie Johnson Charitable Trust and the Limoges Trust.
This year the trip started off with a rush under Potter Higham bridge to meet the rest of the fleet from Martharm followed by a couple of days sailing North of Potter Higham bridge, during this time we also took the opportunity to see the seal colony at Horsey. Before returning to the waters below Potter Higham Bridge to spend the rest of the week sailing.
29 young people and 19 volunteers from 5 schools within the West Midlands took part this year on a seven-day sailing experience on the Norfolk Broads. Once again we took young people from across a wide range of backgrounds and communities. We noted that many of the children’s self-confidence and motivation grew during the week. We also saw some great examples of the young people working together.We are proud of what the young people and volunteers achieved during this trip which we believe is reflected in the feedback.
Our Sailing Trip 2017
Words by some of the children who attended the trip from Bartley School
In the last week of the summer holidays we went on what Mr Flood described as the chance of a lifetime……for an entire week, accompanied by Mr Wothers we where to live breathe and dream sailing.
We started off at Queensbridge School where we meet the pupils from the other schools and at first it was intimating as we didn’t know them and are group was going to be split amongst them. To be honest we don’t want to get to know people outside our school – but it turned out to be the best thing as we all got on well and made great relationships.
So what else will we remember about our week on the Norfolk Broads?
Most of all, we thought it was amazing that we could be away from home; work so well with others and have a trip of a lifetime
Nowka Bais 2016 (30th August 2016)
During a sunny Nowka Bias 2016 while working closely with Midland SC we were able to introduce 111 visitors to sailing at Edgbaston Reservoir for free due to sponsorship from Sport England. 5 of who have also signed up for a Level 1 and 2 RYA Start Sailing Course.
Community Connect Foundation in partnership with Legacy WM, Midland SC and the Canal and River Trust are bringing the eighth national Nowka Bais (pronounced ‘Nouka Baich’) to Edgbaston Reservoir on Sunday 28 August 2016.
Nowka Bais is the traditional sport of dragon style boat racing in rural villages of Bangladesh and reflects many of the customs of the country.
New Trustees join the team
We are please to announce the arrival of Kate Squires and John Wilson to the Enterprise Sailing Trust both Kate Squires and John Wilson are joining the charity as Trustees will bring a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the team.