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"In his slipstream" - in memory of Laury

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Update 13/06/2024. This fundraiser is now closed for donations. If you would like to donate to Blue Spirit, please visit
Thank you!

In memory of our darling boy, can you help us raise awareness about life-threatening mental health issues and spread the word about Blue Spirit - which provides sailing opportunities for young people?

"In his slipstream" is the working title of a film and photo essay project, all about a family learning to sail in memory of Laury - their son, brother, cousin, nephew - who was as passionate about sailing as he was compassionate towards people and planet.
Laury died of a mental illness in July 2020. To honour his life, his mother, Solen and his godmother, Nina, set up Blue Spirit, which grants sailing bursaries to young people (aged 16-25) who are experiencing a mental health challenge or facing social/economic disadvantage. The project is housed by established not-for-profit, the Sail Boat Project , a sailing school with a difference.

So far, we have sponsored six young sailors to go out with Sail Boat Project, with positive feedback . We have more trips planned for later in the year through voluntary organisation ESTEEM and a group of young refugee/asylum seekers with Sutton & District Training. In the North East of England we are working with Ocean Youth Trust North and several groups are booked on weekend or 5-day voyages, with the first one venturing out at the end of May. 

The trip
To mark the first anniversary of Blue Spirit beginning its operations, and to raise awareness of its work, Solen and her family, who now live in the UK, will sail across The English Channel from Chichester in southern England to Port Blanc in northern Brittany, France, where Laury was born and raised, and where he learned to sail.
None of the group has any sailing experience to speak of, but they will travel under the skippership of Dhara Thompson, one of the directors of the Sail Boat Project. Once in Brittany, the Sail Boat Project and Blue Spirit will run community sails along the northern Breton coast for young local people facing disadvantage or difficulty, skippered by Dhara and with Laury's girlfriend Marie as First Mate.
In Brittany, there will also be a commemorative traditional Celtic festival or Fest Noz to celebrate Laury's life and to further raise awareness of the work of Blue Spirit. Laury's best friend, Camille, a local Celtic musician, will play at the Fest Noz with his Breton band, while family, friends, and local community members enjoy traditional Breton dancing, another of Laury's passions.

The creative team
A small team of filmmakers and a photographer will document the cross-channel sailing, the community coastal sails in Brittany and the Fest Noz celebration. Joanna Duchesne and Juanan Eguiguren from the wonderful JD Works and Oscar-winning film-maker James Reed (My Octopus Teacher), will seek to explore with Solen and others close to Laury, the themes of mental health and wellbeing and their polarity, mental illness and suicide, as well as the grief of losing a son, brother, partner, best friend, to raise awareness and promote discussion of these critical issues.

Laury's godmother, Nina Emett, a documentary photographer and award-winning director of arts social enterprise, FotoDocument, will create a photo essay alongside the film. The film and photography materials will be used for screenings and public exhibitions, Blue Spirit marketing, fundraising campaigns, and to enable discussions with young people in the UK and France.

Our objective
To make this project happen, we are seeking to raise £10,000 to cover the costs of making the film and photo essay, which includes community sailboat hire, other travel, accommodation, film & photography costs, and subsistence.
This project is, of course, highly emotional for all who knew and loved Laury, but it is also vitally important, as part of his enduring legacy, to raise awareness about mental health issues in the young, to help prevent isolation and despair, and to create solidarity and well-being in their place. So please do join us on this journey to bring positivity and impact in his slipstream.

Blue Spirit and Laury

Video by JD Works


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