The Jubilee Sailing Trust and Barclays employees from across the UK have joined forces to embark on an extraordinary event; to voyage round Great Britain aboard Lord Nelson, one of only two fully accessible tall ships in the world.
In total over 400 people, comprising Barclays employees and disabled or disadvantaged people, will be joining the ship’s permanent crew for 11 voyages over a two month period.
The event programme aims to not only provide a life-changing experience for all participants, but to create community-level opportunities to promote accessible services, digital skills and inclusive employment thanks to a parallel series of in-port events linking with Local Authority and Corporate partners.
The first-of-its-kind voyage has been a huge logistical undertaking, bringing together hundreds of people across the country, and dozens of community and charity groups, to help deliver the bold ambition of a “round Britain” relay, aiming to change perceptions of disability and bring together the communities in which Barclays operates.
Commissioned by the Jubilee Sailing Trust in 1984, Lord Nelson was the first tall ship in the world to be designed and built to enable people of all ages and abilities to sail side by side on equal terms.
Each of the 209 Barclays employees will be paired with a ‘buddy’ on the 11 leg voyage, with everyone working together to have a shared, inclusive experience. During the voyage, the crew will get the chance to share skills and life experiences, and make lasting friendships.
Especially designed facilities onboard include wide flat decks for ease of movement around the ship, wheelchair lifts between deck levels, hearing loops, a speaking compass, when required and hydraulic power-assisted steering to enable people with limited strength or mobility to experience the thrill of controlling a large sailing ship.
Barclays employees and their buddies are raising funds for a variety of charities, including Nancy Oldfield Trust, East Anglia Disabled Trust and the Heart Foundation.
Simon Smith, Regional Director, Barclays Wealth Management, East of England, said:
“Volunteering on Lord Nelson will be an extraordinary experience for everyone involved and is something incredibly special for them to be part of. The ethos of the trip is about allowing the crew to test themselves in exceptional circumstances and we hope everyone involved gains an overwhelming sense of achievement and pride, which in turn, will impact on their personal and professional lives.”
Simon continued: “We know that one in five of us have an impairment and initiatives such as this help to educate and equip everyone involved with the right tools and experience when catering for disabled and disadvantaged people. Living in a diverse society it’s important for us to help raise awareness about our support for existing customers, colleagues and communities, to ultimately create more accessible opportunities for all.”
Barclays Bank PLC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 122702). Registered in England. Registered No. 1026167. Registered office: 1 Churchill Place, London E14 5HP.
Duncan Souster, Chief Executive Officer, Jubilee Sailing Trust, commented:
“We are absolutely delighted to be working with Barclays on this ground-breaking initiative. It is great to see their outstanding and strong commitment to creating more diverse, inclusive communities and to building individual life skills. I am so impressed by the fundraising efforts of their staff to provide this very special opportunity to individuals living within their community.”
Elaine Draper, Barclays Director of Customer Vulnerability & Accessibility, said:
“Both organizations are committed to creating environments and opportunities which are open and accessible to all – and this event provides a fantastic platform to do something on a national scale, but with local flavour, so that it resonates with the whole community. Accessibility, digital innovation and community engagement are integral to the way Barclays does business and this project has been a fantastic opportunity to bring colleagues together to build a sense of pride in what the bank is doing and the way we do it.”