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Jakie Jewell

Jakie is a Cornish girl who has been very fortunate to grow up on the Helford River, spending her childhood on or in the water. Jakie’s passion for Cornwall meant she decided to remain in the county and undertook a long career in Tourism and Hospitality. In early 2021, after 30 years, she decided to take a career change, wanting an opportunity to ‘give back’ and joined a local Cornish charity, the Children’s Sailing Trust. Jakie took on the massive challenge of getting their new fully accessible Watersports Centre and holiday accommodation up and running before taking over as CEO of the Charity as the site opened to the public in 2021.

Where do you operate in Cornwall?

The Children’s Sailing Trust (CST) has been in operation on the Helford River since 1997 and has taught over 5,000 children to sail since its foundation. CST began teaching sessions for children with special educational needs and disabilities ten years later, but always wanted to do more. In late 2021 their dream came true with the opening of a converted serpentine quarry in Garras, near Helston. This new accessible Watersports Centre at Trevassack Lake features adapted facilities and craft along with accessible accommodation and allows CST to provide hugely important inclusive sailing lessons and specialist classes to children with special needs and disabilities from across Cornwall and the UK.

What is the best thing about working in Marine?

Transforming lives through Sailing and Watersports. I am so fortunate to witness life changing moments on the water at our fully accessible Watersports Centre at Trevassack Lake and on the Helford River. We hear regularly from the teachers from the schools we work with regarding the positives our Charitable Sailing Programme has on their young people. Children tell us that Sailing releases their troubles, teaches them to trust their friends, rise to the challenge, take risks and fight fears. We shouldn’t underestimate what young people are capable of achieving when given the chance. Our activities help children to thrive. The children that learn with us achieve sailing competence, with 100% of participants gaining RYA Sailing Stage 1 in their first year. By year 3, children achieve RYA Sailing Stages 2-3 and progress to our Youth Group. From here (at the age of 14 plus) they can start their career in Sailing Instruction and train to become an RYA Assistant Instructor. Once this qualification has been achieved, they are able to volunteer for us to gain further experience which can lead them to their RYA Dinghy Instructor qualification from age 16. From there it’s a few more years of experience and an RYA course to become a Senior Instructor and thereafter with a few more years of experience under their belt its Lead Instructor and Chief Instructor – a relatively quick career progression compared to most!

Why did you want to become an Ambassador for Cornwall Marine Academy?

Having attended ‘Career’s Days’ at our local schools, it is clear that young people are not aware of the opportunities available to them in the Marine industry. I therefore want to ensure that between us all (Ambassadors), we have a stronger voice to encourage the next generation to understand the opportunities that are available to them.

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We work with more than a hundred ambassadors across Cornwall to raise awareness of the marine sector.

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