Ahead of World Mental Health Day on Tuesday 10 October, UKSA has announced four new youth ambassadors who will take on the role of being the voice of authority and motivation for young people training with UKSA.

The four ambassadors are Harrison Alvey, 23 from Eastbourne, who is currently doing a Superyacht Cadetship,  Lottie Butchers, 17, from the Isle of Wight, who is undertaking her second year in the Maritime Foundation Programme, Henry Griffiths, 18, from Portugal, who is currently in his second year NCFE Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity (Outdoor Pathway) and Badr Ahmed Badr, 17 from Birmingham who recently completed the Sea.Change Foundation Course.

Kim Fry, Safeguarding and Welfare Manager said: “One of the areas which the youth ambassadors will be responsible for is offering peer to peer support to other young people and starting those conversations about mental health and wellbeing, which is often easier with someone your own age. By talking to other young people, it can instil hope for improvement and combat feelings of loneliness if past experiences are shared.

“Having someone to talk to that can then help them link up with a trusted adult or signpost to a support resource is invaluable. If the young person feels that another young person has benefited from support, they are more likely to trust their view and share their worries with the right people.”

Harrison Alvey, Cadetship Youth Ambassador said: “Coming from a background in event management, coaching and psychiatry, I understand the importance of a beneficial team culture. I’m currently pursuing my Yachtmaster certification as part of my educational and career journey, with an aspiration to become a superyacht captain who champions an inclusive culture of empathy, resilience, and sustainability. In this role, I aim to inspire individuals to prioritise their mental health while performing at their best. Embracing positive actions for ourselves and others, even in small steps, can yield profound improvements in overall well-being and contribute to our shared commitment to Sea.Change.”

Henry Pizarro Griffiths, Education Youth Ambassador said: “My primary aim is to become a superyacht captain and travel the world experiencing different cultures and meeting new people but ahead of undertaking a four year course to do so, I wanted to see what life at UKSA was like first. I am currently in my second year of my NCFE Diploma in Sport and Physical Activity (Outdoor Pathway) as a taster and I ended up loving it so much I did a summer working season at UKSA teaching children how to sail, windsurf, kayak and paddleboard.

“I wanted to become a youth ambassador because of the amount of help and support I’ve received from UKSA and the help it has provided in helping me find a sponsor to part fund my accommodation as a residential student here. The welfare, watersports and education teams have always been really supportive of my dreams and aspirations and always offered to help me with anything I needed and I’m looking forward to passing that on.”

Other areas the youth ambassadors will be supporting in addition to mental health include education and career, diversity, sustainability and Sea.Change. Within these areas, the ambassadors will be the representative voice of the young people at UKSA, aid team with identifying successful case studies of students and attend events to talk about the impact UKSA has had on them as an individual.