Some young British volunteer sailors have been rewarded for their services. Watford Observer reports that sailors at Bury Lake Young Mariners (BLYM) are celebrating after being awarded the Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. The award is widely regarded as the MBE for voluntary service.
Bury Lake Young Mariners
BLYM is a registered charity committed to the development of young people and those with disabilities. The club takes around 7,500 mostly young people on to the water each year with a club fleet of more than 100 dinghies. The aim is to make sailing an accessible and affordable activity for all, with a combined Royal Yachting Association Training Centre and Sailing Club. BLYM is unique in that it has no paid staff.
Activities are provided seven days a week by a network of more than 200 qualified volunteer instructors and helpers, who freely give their time to deliver sailing programmes for schools, youth organisations and individuals.
Throughout the year RYA courses are offered to families and individuals, and an open access policy means that anyone can learn to sail at BLYM.
BLYM is a Member of The Sport Foundation, the UK’s leading Sport for Development charity. The Foundation provides funding and business support to community and grassroots organisations which use sport to bring about social change within their communities. In March 2013, The Sported Foundation awarded BLYM a grant of £15,000 for its Cadet scheme.
The programme was developed to engage young people from the estates of the Three Rivers area and break down the barriers - both physical and financial - which stop them from participating in sailing.
BLYM chairman Mick Hamilton MBE said: 'Everyone at Bury Lake Young Mariners is thrilled to receive this wonderful recognition of our work for the community. We have grown dramatically in recent years and this award spurs us in our future ambitions.'
Sir Keith Mills, Founder of The Sported Foundation and Deputy Chairman of LOCOG, added: 'Huge congratulations to Bury Lake Young Mariners on being awarded the prestigious Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. As an avid sailing enthusiast myself, it’s great to see the sport being used in such a positive way.