A new chairman will join the Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT) in July 2019 as the charity continues its flagship appeal to boost UK sail training capacity for disadvantaged young people.

The trust announced David Aisher would take up the post at the charity’s annual general meeting on the 24 July – replacing Jock Lennox who will step down after nine years as chair.

The Trust's appeal launched in October 2018, aims to raise to raise £5m and to double the number of young people it takes to sea by 2023.

Since it was established in 1956 as the Sail Training Association, the charity has given seagoing experiences to some 117,000 young people – helping to transform many of their lives in the process.

On his appointment Mr Aisher said: 'It is a huge privilege to lead the Tall Ships Youth Trust at such a critical time for the charity’s development. When the challenges young people face are getting tougher and more complex, the need for our work has never been more relevant. I look forward to working with everyone at Tall Ships to ensure that as many young people as possible are able to make the most of this life-changing experience.'

Chief executive Richard Leaman-Grey paid tribute to retiring chair Jock Lennox as a 'tough act to follow', but said he was sure Mr Aisher would ably lead the charity to 'the next level'.

Mr Lennox reflected on his time with the TSYT: 'My time with the trust has been hugely rewarding in the knowledge that the impact we have on the lives of young people is transformational; I have seen it at first hand. And it is this that has kept me going through the challenges we have had.'

Mr Aisher has experience at the helm of various industries, including plumbing where he founded a plumbing business, and as a director at a builders' merchant.

Outside of work, Mr Aisher has many years maritime experience, having sailed on his vintage yacht the 1888 Gaff Cutter Thalia – possibly the oldest yacht to cross the Atlantic. He is also the commodore of the Royal Ocean Racing Club and a former rear commodore yachting at the Royal Yacht Squadron.

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Tall ships flagship appeal

Nautilus is supporting the Tall Ships Youth Trust new flagship appeal - which was launched at St James’s Palace in 2018 at an event hosted by the charity's patron The Duke of York.

The appeal aims to raise funds for the purchase of a new flagship vessel - akin to the Schooners, which will double the Trust's voyage training capacity.

As the UK’s oldest and largest sail training charity, it is estimated that, in total, the Trust has helped 117,000 beneficiaries and sailed more than 2 million nautical miles, enough to go around the world nearly one hundred times. Its current fleet includes four Challenger yachts, a catamaran and a ketch which all provide a safe, physically and mentally challenging setting for people of all ages and abilities.

  • for more information on the Tall Ships Youth Trust and to find out how to get involved as a donor or fundraiser, please follow the Get involved or donate links below.
  • donations to the appeal can also be sent to the Tall Ships Youth Trust, 2a The Hard, Portsmouth PO1 3PT or text TSYT01 £5 to 70070 (the donation will be added to your phone bill).
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