Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Jubilee Sailing Trust 'saved' after raising £1m in five days

Crew at work on a JST ship Image copyright Jubilee Sailing Trust
Image caption The charity's two ships carry mixed-ability crews

A sailing charity says it is "set to be saved" after an emergency fundraising appeal raised more than £1m in five days.

Jubilee Sailing Trust warned on Monday that it was likely to cease activities if the £1m target was not met.

It said it had raised £1,065,000 by Friday's deadline.

The Southampton-based charity, which offers people with disabilities the chance to sail on tall ships, said more than 3,500 people had contributed.

Operations director Jon Greenspan said three quarters of the money had come from wealthy individuals and companies, with the rest coming from small donations.

There were two pledges of £100,000, he added.

Image copyright Rossographer
Image caption Tenacious is one of two tall ships operated by the charity

Mr Greenspan said the trust's chief executive Duncan Souster had been "relentless" in pursuing "high net worth" contacts.

In a video message posted online, Mr Souster said: "We did it! I can't believe it. What an incredible week. I'm really confident that our incredible work will continue."

The charity, which employs 51 people, said it would make a further statement after a meeting of trustees on Monday.

Mr Greenspan said a "challenging fundraising environment" and "large bills 18 months ago" had drained the charity's cash reserves, while annual running costs had grown to about £5m.

A previous statement from the trust said it had suffered "substantial mechanical issues" with its two ships and "poor uptake" of its activities.

The charity's vessels, STS Lord Nelson and SV Tenacious, were specially designed and fitted to allow people with physical impairments - including wheelchair users - to sail side-by-side with people who do not have disabilities.

In 2012, Lord Nelson set off on a two-year circumnavigation visiting 30 countries. Tenacious took part in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant the same year.

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