PUBLIC Services students from South Essex College took to the waves recently as they undertook an intensive sailing programme at the Essex Outdoors Centre, a coastal outdoor education centre at Bradwell-on-Sea.
As part of their BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Uniformed Public Services, students from the Basildon and Southend Campuses of the College study a water-based adventurous activities unit which provides an action-packed opportunity to learn how to sail a variety of different boats as well gain a sailing qualification.
Students learned to sail in all directions and are now able to sail in light winds under supervision. With the support of qualified instructors and dedicated lecturers they sailed through their Royal Yachting Association Level 1 Dinghy Sailing qualification.
Public Services student, Katherine Cottle, 17 from South Ockendon said: “The overall experience left me with much more confidence as previously I hated water but now I love sailing! I’ve gained so many new skills and would love to return to complete my RYA Level 2 certificate.”
In addition to evening lessons students explored the River Blackwater by sailing to historical sites such as the world-famous oyster farms at Mersea Island.
Public Services Lecturer Iain Saunders organised the trip, he said: “Students were placed in a challenging environment where their personal skills and qualities were tested. Not only have they demonstrated they are equal to the task by fulfilling the unit criteria, they have gained an additional qualification and developed a life skill which makes them attractive candidates for future employment”.