1851 Trust

INEOS funds the 1851 Trust to use the context of the America’s Cup, dubbed “the Formula 1 of sailing”- and now other sports too- to bring STEM subjects to life. We also support making sailing accessible to some of the most disadvantaged school children in the UK.

Ever since first sponsoring Sir Ben Ainslie’s British America’s Cup team in 2018, INEOS has funded the team’s charitable foundation, the 1851 Trust. Encouraging health and wellbeing among young people has been a key focus for INEOS these past few years, so the opportunity to combine this with an educational programme of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) - all so central to its core business - seemed the perfect fit.

The 1851 Trust is an education charity that uses the context of the America’s Cup, dubbed “the Formula 1 of sailing”, to bring STEM subjects to life. 

INEOS’ support for the 1851 Trust funds two programmes, with INEOS TEAM UK’s challenge for the America’s Cup at their core: STEM Crew and Rebels Crew.

STEM Crew is a free programme that provides a range of teaching resources targeted at 11-16 year olds. Established in 2014, it uses its link with the America’s Cup to inspire young people and open their eyes to their potential. Part of this is to emphasise that the success of the sailing team extends far beyond the 11-strong crew and involves over 120 people - each with unique abilities and disciplines. 

“The America’s Cup is a real combination of technology and teamwork,” adds CEO Ben Cartledge. “It’s a coming together of different people from a lot of different backgrounds and skillsets, with the single aim of making the boat go as fast as possible.” STEM Crew reflects this and leaves children feeling confident and enthusiastic in their abilities, knowing that they could pursue a career as an athlete, designer, scientist or an engineer. “We want to give them opportunity and ambition. It’s all about making the experience as real as possible and relevant to their day-to-day lives.”

Currently, over a third of secondary schools in the UK have one or more teachers using the assets, he says, and more than 3,000 teachers and 200,000 young people having benefited from the resources in 2020 alone. “Teachers use our resources for two reasons: the content really delivers and it excites and inspires their students,” says Cartledge.

Each week, around eight school groups attend workshops hosted at STEM Crew’s base in Portsmouth, UK, which it shares with INEOS TEAM UK. There they learn about the science behind sailing as well as conservation and sustainability. They also have access to interactive hands-on exhibits which highlight the many innovative technologies and materials used onboard INEOS TEAM UK’s America’s Cup boat. From the techniques used in its construction to learning about hydraulics and hydrofoils, students come away with a better understanding of how science and sport are intrinsically linked. 

The America’s Cup is a real combination of technology and teamwork

CEO Ben Cartledge

Rebels Crew, meanwhile, is a rather different initiative targeted specifically at 11-14 year old students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It aims to remove barriers and dispel the myth that sailing is exclusive or unaffordable. Through their schools participants join a 6-8 week sailing programme that not only gives them a taste of the sport but helps them develop vital life skills. The budding sailors are taught by a network of highly qualified instructors and inspired by short films from INEOS Team UK sailors. 

“Rebels Crew is making a real difference,” says Cartledge. “We find that the behaviour and motivation at school improves not only for those who are directly taking part but the rest of the school feels the benefits as well.”

INEOS’ support has allowed the programme to expand far beyond the sailing team’s Portsmouth base to reach disadvantaged children across the UK, from areas including London, Liverpool, Manchester and Edinburgh. Before the Covid-19 pandemic paused activity, 3,000 pupils from 60 schools in some of the poorest communities in the UK were benefitting from the opportunity to learn to sail, and the 1851 Trust are very much looking forward to resuming the programme when feasible. 

Alongside the generous ongoing support of INEOS for 2020, the Trust has secured the support of organisations such as the Department for Transport, Lloyds Register Foundation and Fidelity Foundation to further develop its work inspiring young people with science and technology.


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