Sailing charity staves off closure by raising £1m in less than a week

The Jubilee Sailing Trust, which offers disabled and disadvantaged people the opportunity to sail, said that more than 3,500 people had contributed after it announced the emergency appeal last week

Jubilee Sailing Trust
Jubilee Sailing Trust

A sailing charity appears to have been saved from closure after a £1m emergency fundraising appeal achieved its target in less than a week.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust, which employs 51 staff, announced last week that it would probably cease operating if it could not find the sum by 6pm on Friday.

The charity, which runs specially adapted tall ships that offer disabled and disadvantaged people the opportunity to sail, said that 3,500 people worldwide had contributed to raising more than the £1m target.

In a statement, Duncan Souster, chief executive of the Southampton-based trust, described the response as "absolutely amazing" and said it had "reinvigorated" the organisation.

"From difficult circumstances, this extremely generous support has given our work a much brighter future," he said.

"We are so grateful to everyone who has supported our campaign, both with messages of encouragement and donations."

The charity has taken nearly 50,000 people to sea since it was established in 1978.

It blamed the need for its emergency appeal on "serious cash-flow issues brought about by the deferral of some partner projects to 2020 and unplanned engineering issues on both ships".

The charity said in another statement that trustees would meet today "to review the outcome of this week’s campaign and to determine the future of the organisation based on the progress made during the appeal".

It added: "A further statement will be issued after this meeting."

Nobody from the charity was available on Monday morning to provide further details about the sums raised through the fundraising campaign.

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