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Sailaday OK – Life changing therapy at sea

Sailaday OK supports marine based adventure therapy to help adults, their families and young persons recover from the consequences of addictions, abuse and other trauma .

Our unique evidence based therapeutic model promotes positive personal change through practical expereince. To reduce disadvantage and social exclusion  by provision of therapeutic sailing  & Educate therapists and skippers in the benefits of therapeutic sailing.


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Home Testimonials Volunteers The story of a SailadayOK Volunteer
The story of a SailadayOK Volunteer



Sailaday would like to congratulate their volunteer Communications & Fundraising Coordinator on his recent 3rd Sector appointment. Read Don's story to find out more. 


Don joined Sailaday in 2007 at time when the charity was facing a number of challenges. "After receiving start up funding Sailaday had proved its innovative method and was in a position to begin to grow and expand its service provision. To do so we needed a dedicated person to work on creating a sustainable funding base and on re-communicating Sailaday's message to a wider audience" explained founder and manager, Richard Lannowe Hall, of the charity’s decision to recruit a volunteer Communications and Fundraising Coordinator.

 Volunteering is a completely different dynamic compared to say being an employee of a charity or organisation. "Ironically this is going to sound selfish, but I was inspired to volunteer at Sailaday for a number of reasons and not all of them were altruistic" said Don of his decision to pick up the phone and respond to Sailaday's appeal for volunteers.

 Don had previously worked as a geophysicist, he says “Working for a big oil services company was financially rewarding but somewhat spiritually depleting, so I decided to take a sabbatical and soon found myself volunteering and then working at a social enterprise in Sussex. This experience opened my eyes to a new world and I knew that returning to my career at an oil company was not what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.”

 Don’s personal challenge then became convincing prospective employers that the rather esoteric skills of an erstwhile geophysicist were transferable to the field of communications and fundraising. Don says he was “…amassing quite an unenviable collection of rejection letters from the bigger established players in the charity sector and many of the NGO’s wouldn’t even reply to my enquiries regarding internships. It was then I realised that I needed to find a relatively new charity where I could get stuck in at grass roots level and really make an impression.”

 By the time he saw Sailaday’s advert for volunteers Don’s passion for surfing and windsurfing had seen him relocate to Cornwall where he was about to embark on his studies in Voluntary Sector Management. “When I contacted Sailaday I was up front about my motivations for volunteering and explained what I wanted to achieve. After so many rejections I wasn’t expecting to be welcomed aboard so warmly. And not just in the metaphorical sense, I’d also have a chance to get out on the boat and go sailing which was a bonus” laughs Don when asked about his first meeting with Sailaday.

 But a successful volunteering partnership should never be one way as Richard is quick to point out “Don was here to do a job and he did just that. He successfully brought in funding and made it possible for us to weather the early storms and calms of a new charity”.

 Despite his achievements at Sailaday Don feels he got as much out of the experience as he put in. “As I say, I saw this volunteering opportunity as just as much of an opportunity me as it was for the charity. Nonetheless I wasn’t expecting the level of support I received, the charity supported me my in studies, allowed me to use Sailaday as a case study for my dissertation and most of all the management had the confidence to support and develop any new publicity and fundraising initiatives I would bring them.”

 It was this strategic vision that has proved most valuable to the charity explains Richard “Not only was Don efficient and creative but he really taught me how to describe what we do to different organisations, how to speak in their language. The foundations Don laid in establishing our communications strategy were instrumental in enabling Sailaday to put together our recent successful Lottery funding bid”.

 Don now works at a Cornish voluntary organisation managing a project for visually impaired people and he also runs his own boutique communications and fundraising consultancy. Despite the demands on his time Don says hopes he can still be involved with Sailaday “Once I’ve settled into my new role I am planning to continue as a volunteer. Though do doing what, I’m not sure – Sailaday is a very different charity today compared to the one I encountered almost three years ago”.

 Though the management at Sailaday work hard to ensure volunteering at the charity is a positive experience, not all volunteering relationships turn out to be so mutually beneficial and Richard is clearly very grateful “Everyone at Sailaday would like to extend their thanks to Don and we wish him every success in his new position” concluded Richard.




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