Sir Thomas Lipton Foundation | UK

The Sir Thomas Lipton Foundation is a UK-based organisation, intent on supporting children aged 10 to 12, in areas of acute social and economic disadvantage as they enter their critical teenage years.

 The Foundation does this by providing them with an unforgettable experience of sailing, enterprise and achievement (SEA). The foundation strives to make that experience one that excites, motivates and challenges the pupils to find out what makes them come alive; one that helps them to discover more of their potential in their teenage years; and one that boosts their attainment and motivation levels as they prepare for the all-important transition to secondary school.

The SEA experience delivered by the Foundation is called “Buoyed Up”. There is nothing else like it in the UK for this age group. Originally tested in Australia and successfully piloted in South Africa, the project now takes place in four schools in Scotland, one in England, one in Northern Ireland and one in South Africa. The multi-stage project was run between March and June 2018. Culminating in five consecutive days of sailing, the children first learned about the life and times of Sir Thomas Lipton  in a classroom project - Victorian times, shipbuilding, business enterprise, maritime heritage, marketing, the tea trade, the America's Cup.  They then participated in a half-day World of Work experience at a maritime-related company and a 'Meet the Skipper' visit from an inspiring speaker.

The average cost per child for this project is approximately £300 which pays for sailing, transport, classroom materials, t-shirts, caps, certificates, a small reception involving parents to celebrate achievement, and a follow-up activity to underpin “Buoyed Up” learning in subsequent years.

Smurfit Kappa Foundation were delighted to be able to contribute to this project in Northern Ireland by making a donation of £9,000 which funded the purchase of two small sailing boats, plus associated material and support costs for use by the Foundation in the development of this and future endeavours. Ownership of their own equipment aids the Foundation in the reduction of ongoing costs on a yearly basis and provides reliable access to the equipment required to provide the necessary experience for the children involved. 

A whole class from Kilcooley Primary school in Bangor, Northern Ireland participated in this programme in 2018.


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