Volunteer on the Water of Britain's Ocean City

June the 1st to 8th is National Volunteer’s Week, an annual celebration of the fantastic contribution millions of volunteers make across the UK. It is used to showcase different volunteering roles on offer, to volunteer recruitment events, launching new volunteering campaigns and to highlight events take place throughout the country. 

Plymouth, Britain’s Ocean City is full of the most fantastic volunteering opportunities and so many of them are there to get young people on and in the water. So we thought that we would make a list of these opportunities so that, if you have time to volunteer, you might be inspired to help out one of the very deserving charities and organisations. 

If you can think of one that should also be included in this list, then please let us know and we will add it.

Plymouth and Devon Schools Sailing Association


Plymouth and Devon Schools Sailing Association is a not for profit volunteer organization that offers kayaking and powerboat courses. Based at Commercial Wharf on the Barbican, Plymouth Sound provides a great teaching environment for all levels of tuition.  

They are an RYA Recognised Training Centre and AALA Licensed and offer a range of activity sessions that can either be used as; one off taster / introductory sessions, weekly sessions or multi activity weeks.  

The PDSSA is entirely dependent on volunteers who deal with everything from maintaining the equipment and instructing the youngsters through to being on the committee. Whatever your interest or background, if you’d like to volunteer to help the association then get in touch.




Horizons Plymouth – Children’s Sailing Charity


  Horizons is a registered Children’s Sailing Charity that helps disadvantaged and disabled children from the inner city communities of Plymouth.  

The aim of their work is to provide learning and educational opportunities that increase self-confidence and improve social and practical skills, through water-based activities that would normally be beyond the means of these children. 

Every year they run over 3,000 individual sessions involving hundreds of young people aged 8 to 19  

The charity also provides an evening and weekend sailing club for local youngsters. Many are very local and walk straight from school. After some basic instruction, can enjoy recreational sailing using a variety of craft around the local area and in Plymouth Sound, with safety cover provided. 

Horizons currently has over 50 active volunteers who are essential to the charity and from all walks of life, from members of the public who became involved after showing interest in the charity, to parents, and of course children who have grown up with the charity and become volunteers. Volunteers perform many different roles at Horizons not just helping with the sailing side. The Friends of Horizons help with other aspects including fundraising, minibus driving and maintenance, and bring a whole range of skills to the charity, enabling it to improve and result in a better experience for the children taking part.



Plymouth Youth Sailing



Plymouth Youth Sailing is a young people’s club providing competency, safety, supervision and social activities in Plymouth Sound. It gives opportunities to disadvantaged people in the city to help break the cycle of deprivation and see beyond disadvantages.

The sessions are an activity outside of their normal area of life experience that heightens their self esteem, builds confidence and creates a sense of achievement and self worth.  

But the organisation can only deliver the extensive programme through assistance from volunteers, both adults and young people and currently delivers its objectives through one paid full time staff member and a pool of 25+ volunteers who come from the local areas and more are always welcomed.


Morvargh Sailing Project



Morvargh Sailing Project is a social enterprise, sailing from Sutton Harbour Marina in Plymouth, that provides residential Tall Ship sailing opportunities for young people aged 14-25.  

The Tall Ship ‘Helen Mary R’ delivers a wide range of sail training & educational programmes aimed to develop young people across a range of disciplines.  

Currently funraising to make some essential updates to the boat in order to get out sailing again, this is the perfect time to help them by donating your time and maybe even your pennies! 

When Helen Mary R is sailing, opportunities to give time to assist the permanent Skipper on voyages that range from evening taster sessions to our full six day youth leadership programmes are most welcomed. Volunteer Skippers, Mates, Watch Officers and Watch Leaders are the backbone of the project and without them they would not be able to operate. 

They are also currently looking for refit and maintenance volunteers with experience in diesel engines, painting & varnishing or electronics – as well as anyone keen to create fundraising opportunities.


Drake Sailing Club


As part of the Royal Yachting programme, Drake Sailing Club provides the necessary support for people with disabilities to sail day boats and yachts within the sheltered waters of Plymouth Sound. 

All sailing is supported by two experienced volunteer sailors in each boat and up to two dedicated safety Boats are on the water throughout the session. These take place on Tuesday evenings at 5.30pm, from the Mount Batten Centre, May to September. 

They welcome enquiries from members of the public to become volunteers and no sailing experience is necessary. The season runs from May until September and each session lasts around 3 hours with no need to commit to every sailing evening.