Who we are
The RYA Foundation is the charitable arm of the Royal Yachting Association (RYA). We fund a range of ventures to help make boating accessible to everyone, regardless of circumstance.
Taking an active part in water sports can reduce social isolation, increase self-worth, improve physical health and develop mental well-being. Yet people disadvantaged due to their youth, age, infirmity or disability, financial hardship or social circumstances are still under-represented in the boating world.
To redress this imbalance there is a continuing need for improved facilities, equipment, training and awareness-raising. We endeavour to be a facilitator of change and work to encourage the development of integrated boating at a club level which can improve the holistic life of the organisation and develop social capital.
As a sporting activity that is largely unregulated, boating is potentially open to all. And most sailing clubs are open to all members of the public – either through becoming a member or through ‘pay and play’ arrangements. But boating is equipment-based:
· there are difficulties with getting on the water at reasonable cost and convenience. We aim to support projects that address this in target cities across the country
· for people with disabilities, both boats and launching/embarking facilities must be specially designed and provided. We support the network of ‘Sailability foundation sites’ where the equipment and availability of trained instructors and assistants is assured
· many boating providers are either small charities, enthusiastic individuals or associations who rely on a band of dedicated volunteers. We give grants to organisations in support of their plans to offer a wider range of activities and grow the number of participants.
We would like to thank all the volunteers who enable the disadvantaged members of our community to experience the joy and freedom of sailing.
See them in action and read more about the benefits on our Stories page.