AHOY provides disadvantaged and disabled young people in London the opportunity to take part in water sports, encouraging teamwork and teaching important transferable and employable skills.
The Foundation has supported AHOY’s ‘Pathway to Employment’ Apprenticeship Programme and most recently its Shipmate Volunteering Programme.
We meet Joseph whose time at AHOY highlights how the Apprenticeship Programme helped to transform his life.
When Joseph joined us at AHOY aged 16, he was shy and avoided all eye contact. He told us he had hated every day at school and that he learnt more in four months at AHOY than in five years at secondary school. His father has multiple sclerosis and Joseph is his part-time carer, helping and looking after him.
The positive changes in Joseph whilst at AHOY were remarkable and rapid. Joseph quickly became far more confident and relaxed, smiling and chatting with others. Joseph says that the best thing about AHOY is the inclusivity, feeling like he really fits in, and that he is ABLE to achieve here – something he never felt at school.
Joseph explains, “I’ve been given more opportunities here than at school and I know I now have a future and a career. I’ve found my direction now as I was clueless before but thanks to AHOY I now know what I want to do with my life and most importantly, I’ve made my dad proud of me.”
Joseph completed his apprenticeship at AHOY in November 2016 and now works full time for the Thames Clippers River Bus. Joseph is currently enjoying the five year training scheme where he has the opportunity to move up the ranks from Deck Hand to Skipper.