On 13th September, hundreds gathered at St Katherine Dock to witness the naming and commissioning of our new yacht 'TS Sir Stelios', kindly provided by the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation.
Businessman and philanthropist Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, best known for the easyJet low-cost airline as well as his 'easy' family of brands, was joined by cadets at the ceremony to name the new green and blue ship. He said, "I am honoured and delighted that my philanthropic foundation has been given the opportunity to help out young people who go to sea. I wish the Training Ship Sir Stelios and all her future crews a fair wind and God speed for bright and successful times to come."
The Rustler 42 yacht - so named because it is 42 feet long - will enable more cadets to take part in transformational voyages at sea and enjoy the thrill and challenges of sailing first hand. Through a range of bursaries Sea Cadets endeavours to offer all it's cadets, regardless of their background, to embark on this trip of a lifetime.
Martin Coles, CEO said, "We are not simply celebrating a beautiful new yacht or the opportunity for cadets to go sailing. We are celebrating the addition of this new yacht as a platform or vehicle through which we are able to offer young people the Sea Cadet Experience.
"It is this experience that delivers the real purpose of our charity, helping young people at the most challenging times in their lives as they travel that tortuous journey from child to adult in an often overwhelming world. “Adventure that launches young people for life today."
Captain Sea Cadets Captain Phil Russell also attended the ceremony, and said, "The difference you see in these young people after they've been away at sea is really remarkable. Being out of their comfort zone and realising how capable they are is such a great experience, and you see the confidence shining out of them when they return."
We would like to thank the Stelios Philanthropic Foundation, and of course Sir Stelios himself, for believing in Sea Cadets and helping us to continue to deliver the Sea Cadets experience to young people all over the country.