We are holding this years Silicon Cup on Tuesday 12th and Wednesday 13th September, raising all important funds for 3 fantastic charities.
The Andrew Simpson Foundation, Greig City Academy and The Genie's Wish
To hear what the money raised will mean to the organisations in this challenging time, we have spoken to each of them.
Andrew Simpson Foundation
The Andrew Simpson Foundations mission is to transform lives through sailing. The organisation is named in honour of Olympic Gold and Silver medallist and Star World Championship winner, Andrew Simpson, who sadly died during a training session in 2013. Nicknamed Bart, his passion for sailing and encouraging a new generation of enthusiasts lives on in ASFs activities.
The foundation offers life-changing opportunities to young people from all backgrounds and circumstances, to succeed at something they would previously not have thought possible. To achieve this objective, the charity delivers programmes within three main-focus areas: to encourage greater participation in sailing and help to break down any barriers of the sport; to help improve physical health and mental well-being; and to provide skills and careers training that may be used within sailing or in the pursuit of personal and professional development more broadly.
All young people have the ability to succeed and excel, says Iain Percy, CEO of ASF, multi-Olympic Gold medallist and friend of Andrew Simpson. What we do can help them develop a whole host of skills, both on and off the water, to work towards realising their aspirations. We help them challenge themselves to achieve new things, while also having fun.
The foundation has seven not-for-profit watersport centres in the UK, Italy, South Africa, and Turks and Caicos Islands where all surpluses from the centres are donated back into the foundation to help deliver the charitable programmes. It works with young people from schools and the community, providing opportunities to thousands of young people to get on the water, who are often enthused to carry on sailing into adulthood. Four-time Olympic Gold medallist Sir Ben Ainslie CBE is also a Founding trustee. As with many charitable and notfor-profit organisations, the foundation has suffered a drop in revenue due to Covid-19.
All charities are struggling, says Iain. Fundraising activities are down, grants are being reduced, and there are lots more safeguarding issues to consider with additional financial outlay. Its had a huge impact.
He adds: Weve had a great time being involved with the Silicon Cup for several years now, and were really heartened that there will be an auction this year to keep raising money. The Andrew Simpson Foundations ethos will always be to encourage young people to enjoy sailing and learn new skills that will help them thrive through life.
Greig City Academy
Greig City Academy is a secondary school in north London whose pupils have a passion for sailing. The mixed state school has a high proportion of students receiving free school meals and is nowhere near the coast in other words, not an educational establishment you would normally associate with yachting and water-sports. Nevertheless, five years ago, the head of Young sailors with the Andrew Simpson Foundation sixth form, Jon Holt, set up a sailing club for any child to join, and the group has gone from strength to strength.
In 2018 and 2019, its teams have competed in the Rolex Fastnet Race, with one 13-year-old becoming the youngest ever competitor. And in October, three members of the sailing club will be taking part in the RYA Youth National Championships in Weymouth.
Sailing is life-changing for many of our students, says Jon Holt. Every weekend and during the holidays were out on the water, either around Portsmouth and Cowes, or on the reservoir near our school, in north London. They absolutely love it for many, what was originally an interest is now a passion.
The pupils not only learn about sailing and boat maintenance, but also develop other personal skills such as teamwork, taking on responsibilities, time-management and presenting to investors to request funding.
It gives them a lot of confidence, says Jon. For some, they are having opportunities that they otherwise wouldnt have because they dont have transport options to get to the coast. Theyre learning so much from interacting with sailing experts, making connections and meeting investors in the City, and it doesnt faze them. It also gives them motivation with their school-work, because they know they have to work hard to earn the right to go sailing.
Any money that Greig City Academy receives from the silent auction will go towards two activities: buying a RIB (instead of having to hire one) as safety cover when out on the sea; and support for the pupils who are taking part in the RYA Youth National Championships, to hire a high quality boat, and for transport and accommodation costs to take part in the competition.
The Genie's Wish Charity
The Co-Founders, Martin Neal & Katie Jones started this fantastic charity back in January 2021 to help grant special wishes for people from Birth to 40 years of age suffering from a critical or terminal illness across England & Wales.
They also help grant special wishes including experiences, special events, days out and many more to young carers, aged between 5 - 18 years old.
Martin & Katie said:
"The Silicon Cup is a fantastic two day fundraising event, held in Cowes on the Isle of Wight. All the money raised through this event will help us grant so many magical wishes. From granting a specialised bespoke wheelchair, to a weekend away in London, to meeting your all time hero. Every penny counts to our charity and this event makes a huge difference every year we have been involved. Thank you to all the organisers for your support and dedication to our cause!"
You can look at previous and current wishes on our website at www.genieswish.co.uk
Any funds collected on this page will be split between the three charities.