News Archive
Endeavour Empowers Youth of All Abilities with Experiential Learning through Sailing

14 Dec 2023

Endeavour is committed to fostering a culture of inclusivity and accessibility through its programmes that are available free of charge to young people across Bermuda of all backgrounds, skills and abilities. Endeavour’s programmes encourage and promote inclusiveness in the sport of sailing and more widely in the maritime industry by engaging diverse youth in hands-on learning focused on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) education, ocean conservation, and Bermuda’s maritime heritage. 

Endeavour is proud to partner with BF&M for the No Limits Sailing Programme that engages students on the autism spectrum.

Autism, also referred to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterised by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviours, speech and nonverbal communication. It is a neurological condition which affects the way the brain stores and processes information, which can impact sensory processing. People with autism may behave, communicate, interact and learn in ways that are unique. This may contribute to difficulties adapting, social interaction, problem-solving and skills with confidence.  (Autism Speaks, 2023)

During September and October 2023, 33 students between the ages of 5 and 16 years old were engaged in the BF&M No Limits Sailing Programme along with 22 teachers representing five public schools: Paget Primary, Prospect Primary, West Pembroke Primary, Dellwood Middle School, and The Berkeley Institute.

Parents and teachers of children who participate in the programme report that the experience helps equip students with life skills such as increased confidence, enhanced communication and increased ability to adapt to a new environment.

Penny Ingram, mother of Derek Ingram, Jr. who is a No Limits Sailor, shared “My son LOVES your programme! The BF&M No Limits Sailing Programme with Endeavour has been absolutely insightful for my son. It has certainly helped him to grow socially and be more confident with the water and sailing. Sailing was not on our radar in terms of an extracurricular activity for him but the opportunity has been nothing short of outstanding from the friends he’s created and the knowledge he’s learned.

Thank you for allowing my son to participate! I hope other parents take the opportunity. He’s been in the programme since he was at Paget Primary, and he’s been enjoying it ever since. He’s now an S3 student at The Berkeley Institute. I appreciate the consistency as he’s grown leaps and bounds. He’s really been able to build upon his experiences at Endeavour by continuing to participate each year. I really appreciate all of the donors including BF&M who make this programme possible to create something like this for children on the autism spectrum. Thank you Endeavour, please continue to be an inclusive community and charitable organisation.”

Dionne Greene, ASD Teacher at Dellwood Middle School shared, “Students and teachers absolutely love the BF&M No Limits Sailing Programme with Endeavour. We look forward to it every year! Being on the water and on boats makes our children come alive outside of the classroom! They really look forward to seeing the coaches and continuing to build the relationships that they have been able to develop. By seeing them express themselves, connecting with each other and other adults outside of the ones they see every day and students from other schools being able to develop those relationships.” 

Ms. Greene added, “Endeavour offers a more relaxed environment and students are more themselves, they are talking a lot! Just knowing that people outside of their families and teachers are invested in their lives and want them to do and be their best is amazing. It is also a great way to get other people sensitive to people with autism and their needs.”

Endeavour’s East Programme Manager, Geovanni Hayward explains, “It is inspiring to see students build their self-esteem as they see what they can accomplish on and off the water. It is rewarding to see students light up with excitement when something they are working on really connects with them and they really enjoy the sensory experiences. The key is ensuring all aspects are as hands-on as possible with repetition to help students connect the dots with what they are learning.” 

Mr. Hayward added, “We continue to add new activities to our core STEAM through sailing activities to inspire curiosity and maximise student engagement. Whether they are feeling the water with their hands or feet while sailing, enhancing their motor skills by rigging boats and steering on the water, or interacting with sensory activities in the classroom, students are connecting with their environment which enhances their self-awareness while inspiring an interest for learning more about the world around them.”

Jahshon Smith, Endeavour Programme Coordinator shared, “We love to see students’ enthusiasm for learning especially when they are trying something completely new to them! Often students arrive at Endeavour quite nervous and timid about new experiences, new people and a new learning environment. However, our team is dedicated to making students feel comfortable, working with each student at their own pace in a safe and supportive learning environment. With the support from their teachers and our instructors, students are reassured about safety and encouraged to give it a try. We are in awe of each student’s willingness to try something out of their comfort zone and we are amazed by their progress. We are very proud to see students build their confidence and skills such as communication and peer-to-peer interaction during the programme.” 

BF&M’s Group President and CEO, Abigail Clifford shared: “We are proud to sponsor the BF&M No Limits Sailing Programme, in partnership with Endeavour, offering enriching experiences for Bermuda’s youth on the autism spectrum. 2023 marks our seventh year of sponsoring the No Limits Programme and this initiative highlights our dedication to inclusivity and community engagement. It’s heartening to hear of the transformation and growth of participants. Endeavour’s commitment to fostering a culture of inclusiveness aligns seamlessly with BF&M’s values, and we look forward to continuing this impactful partnership.”

Endeavour’s Executive Director, Jennifer Pitcher said: “Inclusiveness is at the heart of all that we do at Endeavour. Endeavour is honoured to provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for students with exceptional abilities to learn and grow. Our team recognises and celebrates each person’s individual strengths and talents while embracing their diverse learning styles and supporting their unique needs. 

We are grateful for the wonderful support from our education partners and teachers whom we learn and take great inspiration from their dedication and expertise. It is our shared knowledge and genuine passion that makes this programme successful. We are also thankful for the extraordinary students and their families who entrust us with their care as we support their continued learning and development.” 

Endeavour’s programmes would not be possible without the collective support from our valued donors, partners, and supporters that enables us to positively impact diverse young lives across Bermuda. We are immensely thankful to BF&M Ltd., and Endeavour’s founding lead sponsor, Orbis Investments, along with Arch Capital Group Ltd. and PwC Bermuda for their unwavering commitment and support of Endeavour’s work with Bermuda’s youth.”

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