Adjusting Sails... Please Help?

My Name is Kelly Anne, I live in Aberdeen Scotland and, effective the 20 March 2015, I am unemployed because I was made redundant.  Trying to make sense of this situation, I wrote an article on LinkedIn about what to do next and, encouraged by friends, peers and people I have never met before, I decided to follow my dream. And now, here I am, adjusting my sails and asking for your help to live my dream!

My aspiration is to share my experience and introduce young people to the wonder of sailing by becoming a qualified RYA Ocean Yacht Master.

I am currently qualified to RYA Competent Crew level and truly believe that sailing provides memorable and lasting experiences and an appreciation of nature and what we have. It also provides a deep sense of team work and instills discipline, which are values and attributes I would love to encourage in young people, particularly those who do not have the opportunity to experience the highs and lows of sailing because of its financial inaccessibility.

But before we move forward on the dream, let me tell you how I came to love sailing. I joined the army in 2003, but broke my back whilst serving in my first year. This, understandably, had its own implications on my military career. I refused to let the injury hold me back and after several operations, I returned to being a serving soldier and was deployed on multiple operations. This career lead me to my passion for sailing when I went on a dingy for the first time in 2008.  I didn’t know how to stop the dingy and to do so I had to deliberately capsize it, thus preventing myself heading into the distant horizon at 7 knots! When the safety boat arrived, they did laugh and watch me struggle for about 10 minutes while I tried to ‘right’ the dingy, before helping and explaining I did the right thing by trusting my instincts! It was all part of the fun!

Sailing was always a dream that I was slowly pursuing, but this was made more difficult when circumstances in my personal life meant I could not take time away from my home and my family. So, in order to keep myself afloat and stimulated in my working life, I moved to a new career and began painting in my spare time. I now have an art page on Facebook ( ) and I have been blessed enough to sell a few pieces of work, the proceeds of which will be going towards the sailing dream.  A percentage of all sales go back into the community I live in to continue the amazing work they do in Aberdeen and internationally too ( ).

By completing the RYA Ocean Yacht Master, I aim to be able to volunteer my time, knowledge and experience to the sailing charities that support and recognise sailing for its ability to change and influence lives. Examples of this are OYT Scotland, DofE, and UKSA. I have worked with children and young adults at various stages in my life and they bring a refreshing and rewarding experience like no other. 

But first I will complete my training with the UKSA in Cowes,  and then begin working for Neilson Activity Holidays!  So grateful to be offered this amazing opportunity!! The dream has become reality... 

William A Ward said: "The pessimist complains about the wind; The optimist expects it to change; The realist adjusts the sails." This is me adjusting my sails! 

I have saved money for this for a long time now and my family has also supported me to gather some more. However, I am still short.

There are so many sailing organisations that need qualified instructors. With the experience gained at Neilson I will be able to continue the dream and take it to others (hopefully)  I am asking for your to help to help them with this support. Please?

If you want to be a part of this dream, please help. No donation would be too small and little by little I will get there. the minimum you can donate online is £5.00,  but if you know me every penny counts and offline contributions graciously accepted. 

For further insight into me and my story see my blog at

I will be updating via the blog how training is going.  I start on November first! Hope you can continue to share in the dream with me!

Thank you very much for reading

Kelly Anne x


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Kelly Anne 
Aberdeen, Scotland, United Kingdom
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