UKSA courses support children’s skills for life

UKSA has reported that its life-enhancing water-based activities, for school groups, have delivered almost significant improvements across six key ‘skills for life’ in 2023.

The Cowes-based charity provides adventures, education and maritime training, providing funding for children and young people who wouldn’t be able to access the experiences without financial support.

UKSA’s six ‘skills for life’ are all deemed essential in children’s personal development and are measured at the end of students’ stays with UKSA. The most recent results saw improvements across all six areas: self-belief (75 per cent), teamwork (75 per cent), determination (73 per cent), resilience (67 per cent), decision-making (63 per cent) and communication (62 per cent).

To measure the improvements delivered by the course, participants are presented with statements for them to agree or disagree with, including comments such as: “I am better at making choices”, “I feel more confident” and “I feel I am more brave to finish difficult tasks”.

CEO, Ben Willows, said: “For many children, without funding from UKSA, they would not have the opportunity for an experience like this. We are incredibly grateful to our donors; however, demand for funding continues to increase as families are hit with the increased cost of living and we need more help to make a difference to more children.”

David Stephens, class teacher at St George’s School in Newport, which visited in 2023 said: “When we came back to school, we held discussions about our time at UKSA and you could immediately see the confidence growth in the students. Different leaders came to the surface, people who are normally confident requiring more guidance during our visit, and those who are less confident coming out of their shells.

“One particularly shy student took the lead in supporting an upset student and helping them through their experience which was really great to see.”