sailing charity cornwall

Sailing for Groups

As a charity, we work closely with groups of people (schools, home education, SEND groups and more) from all over mid and west Cornwall, to provide subsidised opportunities for people of all ages from Year 3 (age 7) upwards, to get out on the water, learning skills to take them through life.

Despite growing up close to the sea, many children in Cornwall may rarely visit the beach, put on a wetsuit or develop their open water skills, let alone have the opportunity to learn sailing or to kayak. This may be due to financial challenges, parents unable to have time off, seasonal work, not catering for Special Educational Needs & Disabilities or being unsure as to where, how and when to give something like this a go.

Since 1997 we’ve remained committed to using watersports as a tool to develop confidence, competence and resilience, enabling young people to reach their full potential in life.

One of our key beliefs is that all children should have the same opportunities to learn sailing and watersports, experiencing the freedom and pride that these activities bring, positively affecting mental and physical well-being.

Where We Sail

Helford River

Our charity has taken thousands of children sailing on the Helford River since 1997. An easterly-facing tidal estuary, our main operating base is found at Helford Passage beach. Being a little more open, this is a great venue to go further with sailing skills or to experience the many creeks, bays and beaches along the river.

Activities include dinghy sailing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, water-based games and beach games.

adapted dinghies

Trevassack Lake

Opened in late 2021, this 10 acre, freshwater lake in a former quarry is open year round to schools and groups. The site features a fully-accessible learning centre with changing room, hot showers, sailing and paddlesports equipment and kit, indoor and outdoor (floating!) classrooms, meeting room facilities, beach area and lakeside cafe.

Activities include dinghy sailing, accessible sailing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding (including MEGA SUP), accessible paddlesports, raft building, open water swimming, accessible powerboat experience and water-based games (shore-based if weather is inclement).

AALA activities (L50427): sailing, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, improvised raft building and windsurfing.

We have a wide variety of commercial and subsidised activities on offer at both our locations. With every commercial watersports session or course booked, you’ll be helping create opportunities for local young people to get out on the water too, who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance.

Costs & Funding

The core of our charitable work is in subsidising term-time sailing lessons for primary-aged children in West Cornwall. 

We also work hard to secure bursaries and grants to fund sailing and watersports opportunities for other ages and abilities, who wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to experience the freedom and life skills of the open water. 

As such we are able to offer subsidised courses and sessions to eligible groups. More details can be found below, along with the public activities that help fund our charity’s work.

Trevassack Lake is now the charity’s HQ, and where our accessible activities happen – we welcome organised groups and individuals from all over Cornwall (and further afield with our on-site, high dependency accommodation).

If you would like to find out more on subsidised sessions for schools, groups or individuals please get in touch with our team.

We work with SEND groups and individuals to offer tailored programmes of water-based activities at Trevassack Lake.

We can provide subsidised sessions to SEND groups – please contact us for specific information about what is available for you.

To support the work of the charity, subsidising disadvantaged school children and SEND groups, we offer all our activities to private groups, non-eligible school groups and the general public.

Please visit our sister website for more information and to book:

Non-subsidised Fees:

£25-£54 per person per week

Subsidised Session Fees: 

£4 per person per week


Each programme is tailored to meet the group’s requirements and can include after-school sessions, team building days, National Curriculum work and DofE. Indoor or outdoor, the choice is yours, plus everything is fully accessible, with free use of all facilities including two Changing Places facilities.

Plus, you work towards your RYA accredited qualifications in sailing – onwards and upwards!

Regular sessions (typically 2 hours) can be set up at any time of year. Before students commit to a term, we can run a taster session first, with those keen to continue then signing up to the regular sessions.

Bring a group or the whole class for an open water swimming experience. Children can develop their swimming strokes or learn valuable water safety skills.

The classroom facility at Trevassack Lake sits up to 42 persons and is fully accessible – it could be a waterside alternative to learning in the classroom at school. It is available for use as part of your watersports session (see hybrid session below) or alternatively as a standalone. 

Trevassack Lake isn’t limited to land-based learning; our innovative and environmentally-friendly floating classroom is also available for hire.

Powered by solar energy and electric engines (nice and quiet), the floating classroom is accessible to all. Floaty is a unique learning environment and a chance for children to get out in the middle of nature. Students can identify wildlife living on the lake and learn about the importance of preserving natural habitats.

With an access ramp and flat deck, the floating classroom can take up to 12  standing children and up to 3 wheelchair users at once on an exciting journey out onto the lake.

Bring a whole class to Trevassack Lake with half the group indoors and half taking to the water with one of our activities – then swap them around. This is a great way to have everyone involved when limiting numbers on the water at a time.

Sample Hybrid Programme (full day)

0930 – Introductions & Safety Brief
0945 – Group 1 water-based activity / Group 2 classroom session
1200 – Lunch 
1245 – Group 2 water-based activity / Group 1 classroom session
1500 – Day summary
1515 – Depart

Use watersports as a way to further build the confidence and resilience of individuals requiring a bit more support in the classroom, either as a one-off or on a more regular basis. These sessions have a lower student/instructor ratio for a more bespoke experience.

In addition to our subsidised and regular sessions, we offer one-off days for groups of up to 40 people – come to the lake for celebrations, parties, conferences or schools as part of your summer activity week or as an end of year farewell for Year 6 – any celebration can be made special with an adventure day at Trevassack. All activities are available all year round, depending on weather and staffing.

Combinations of our activities can be bolted together to make an activity day, or alternatively pick your favourite activity and come for a taster session.

Sample Activity Programme (full day)

0930 – Introductions, Safety Brief & Change
1015 – Activity 1
1130 – Activity 2
1245 – Lunch
1330 – Activity 3
1430 – Change & Day Summary
1500 – Depart

We are happy to work with you to tailor our sessions in a way that complements school topics and the curriculum. With both the large indoor classroom and Floaty, our solar-powered floating classroom, available for use at Trevassack Lake, time spent with us can be educational and unique to further complement the school day.

We offer high-standard facilities with a wide range of specialist equipment and accessible watersports activities at Trevassack Lake.

The Learning Centre is fully accessible and public facilities include two Changing Places wet-rooms with integrated ceiling hoists. Level pathways with safety surfacing guide you through the site. Lakeside, you’ll find wide, stable pontoons with ramp access and a personal hoist to help those with limited mobility onto our adapted craft.

Our activity staff are professionally trained with experience of supporting young people and adults with special educational needs and disabilities. We offer integrated watersports sessions with adapted equipment so visitors with physical disabilities can participate in both group sessions and focussed sessions, and can learn at a pace that is right for them.


Contact Us

Please get in touch with the team to see how we can help get you out on the water!


Children’s Sailing Trust maintains Adventure Activities Licensing Authority (AALA) recognition for the Helford River location. The charity has robust and active safeguarding procedures in place to ensure that children and vulnerable adults are safe on and off the water during sessions.

All of our instructor staff are fully trained, DBS certified and National Governing Body qualified where appropriate. We take the training of staff seriously and ensure they are experienced and equipped to provide a safe learning environment.

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