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UKSA’s fundraising boosted thanks to The Hut’s commitment to Polly’s Challenge

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UKSA, the national youth maritime training charity based in Cowes, is delighted to be partnering with well-known seafront restaurant, The Hut, who will be raising funds for Polly’s Challenge – a unique watersports programme designed for the Isle of Wight’s young people.

Polly’s Challenge was set up in memory of Polly Birch by her family and friends and in collaboration with UKSA. The programme enables Island children, who wouldn't otherwise have the opportunity, to learn new skills through participation in outdoor activities, such as sailing and watersports at UKSA. In 2019, 126 Isle of Wight children in school Years 6 and 7 (and who are eligible for the Pupil Premium) will participate in the five-day watersports activity programme.

Polly’s Challenge will be delivered at UKSA’s base in Cowes and will give participating children the opportunity to develop their potential and sense of adventure. UKSA’s CEO Ben Willows said: “We wish to offer these places to Island youngsters who are eager to learn more at UKSA and might not normally have the chance. For many of the young people coming through our doors it’s the first time they have experienced being on the water and it’s fantastic to see a passion for watersports and sailing ignite in so many of them.”

A discretionary £2 will be added to every lunch and dinner bill at The Hut during their busy summer season and it is hoped over £20,000 will be raised during the course of the next few months. George Adams, proprietor of The Hut and lifelong friend of Polly’s, said: “Polly was a much-loved vet, sailor, mum, wife, sister, daughter and friend. Above all, Polly loved adventure and wanted to encourage other people to go out and experience the world. The Hut is honoured to be able to help raise funds for such a fabulous charity in memory of such an amazing person.”

Ben Willows adds: “In 2018, 33 children took part in the initiative and, following that successful pilot, we are delighted to be able to now offer this opportunity to even more deserving Island youngsters in 2019, thanks to the fundraising commitment made by The Hut.”

UKSA will be delivering nine programmes during the school holidays in 2019, with places now available for the May half-term and six-week summer holiday. For a small contribution of just £20, eligible children can enjoy a fun packed week of activities, such as sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and paddleboarding, experience adventure and learn new skills.

For more information about Polly’s Challenge and how you can get your child involved, please visit: 

If you would like to make a donation to Polly’s Challenge, please contact UKSA’s fundraising department on (01983) 294941 or email


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