In Partnership with “Surrey Docks Fitness and Watersports Centre” and Supported by the Mayor of London


Watersports Youth Matters (WYM) was a summer, restorative justice youth-led project that used watersports as a vehicle to:
  • Provide marginalised children and young people with positive summer opportunities
  • Help increase social and community cohesion in an increasingly divided community in South East London
  • Reduce isolation and loneliness among young people, while improving health outcomes for them and their families.
The WYM Project
Using the underlying values of restorative justice (such as power sharing, involvement in decision making, equality and dialogue), WYM created a safe space and new opportunities for young people to work together as equals, breaking down stereotypes. 
We worked directly with children and young people from different backgrounds, and we taught them how to sail and perform watersports, we helped them to advance to the various RYA stages and provided them with opportunities to compete with each other. 
Alongside sailing and canoeing, WYM also generated high quality volunteering opportunities for local children and young people who tend to be excluded. These opportunities included running and evaluating the project, social action and campaigning. 

Project Aims

Sailing and watersports build confidence and get children and young people together independently of social class, backgrounds, abilities and cultures. It is also a powerful tool to foster community cohesion and can reach socially isolated groups such as children and young people at risk of exclusion.

Through shared learning and watersports, we boosted children’s confidence and self-awareness, increased trust between all participants, created conversation about sensible topics that affected them in their day-to-day basis and taught them about different cultures,