Suicide is the biggest killer of under 35s in the UK.

Sail2Help programme provides "Sailing Escape Days" for those families blighted by suicide

Given the average age of those who earn a living as crew, sailing aboard superyachts, the statistic proclaiming suicide is a big killer of those under 35 is a worrying one for our industry.

The UK is facing a “mental health pandemic”, after the number of people seeking help following thoughts of suicide tripled since the first lockdown began.

But help is at hand.  The sail2help programme has been established by Captain Tim Davies a former Royal Navy aviator.

Tim speaks from experience having lost his eldest son, George to suicide in the early days of 2020, and his elder brother Peter, some 25 years ago.  

He knows how it feels to lie in bed at night sobbing until you can no longer breathe.

His mission now is to raise awareness of mental health issues leading to suicide among young people. 

More importantly he needs to raise funds in order to offer much needed support to such vulnerable people.

He does this by financially supporting Papyrus, the UK’s main suicide prevention charity for young persons, in an attempt to reduce the incidence of suicide.  

In addition, he is endeavouring to fund a sustainable 5+ year programme to provide “Sailing Escape Days” for those families blighted by the terrible effects of mental health issues, making the waves of grief that usually knock them off their feet less violent. 

"Sailing Escape Days" for those families blighted by suicide
Happy family with adorable daughter and son resting on a big yacht

Davies would not suggest for a moment that it won’t always hurt but he believes that sailing without responsibility might make it hurt less.

AVRO Yachting Ltd, a non-related entity, is providing a 15 metre sailing yacht – Dudley Docker for use as a pro bono mobile platform to raise awareness of mental health issues among young people.

The Dufour 470 sailing yacht will be operated by Fairview Sailing Ltd, as one of the commercially available platforms for the provision of respite days afloat.

An “Escape Day” is an opportunity for families and individuals going through really difficult times to leave their gut-wrenching sadness on the dockside and for a few hours, enjoy the freedom of sailing in the fresh air while leaning into their pain.

Sail2Help programme provides "Sailing Escape Days" for those families blighted by suicide and other mental health issues

The approach adopted by Sail2help is to the prevention of young suicide in 3 phases:

 Phase 1.      To obtain seed-corn funding for the long term sail2help programme, and to make further cash donations to Papyrus.     

Phase 2.      To deliver “Escape Days” for families affected by this terrible illness between end of May and early October on the Solent this year.  And, in the future, using service providers in the South of England.    

Phase 3.      To help introduce young persons to a career in the maritime sector, under Red, Blue, White or Flagged State Ensign, by partnering with appropriate service providers and to offer mentoring and/or scholarships as appropriate.

But Tim Davies cannot do it on his lone and he needs help now, in order to help others avoid the heart ache.

His principal focus, at present, is to garner seed-corn funding for the long-term programme and further donations for Papyrus. 

In addition, within the first phase he is seeking additional donations that would provide for much needed additional respite days afloat this year, and sponsorship to assist with the necessary upgrades to the flagship for her immediate safe and commercial use as part of this programme.

Can you help?  Can you donate? 

Davies has set up a Just Giving page to get funds to get Dudley Docker coded in order that she may be commercially legal and safe to operate.  

Every donation received helps support vulnerable individuals and their families, who have been blighted by the effects of poor mental health.  

No gift is too small to make a difference.