22 June 2017
Bethany Keyzer, a 19 year old First Year Student at Plumpton College, has just returned from the journey of a lifetime during which she battled high seas and gale force winds. For the last 4 weeks she has been circumnavigating the UK coast in a 57 foot long ship, the ‘Helen Mary R’ as part of the Aspire 360 Challenge.
Bethany, who is studying Outdoor Education at Plumpton College, has enjoyed an adventure of a lifetime:
I thought this was a great opportunity for me to see Britain as we don’t usually see it.
She was the oldest of all the students, the youngest being 14.
Being the oldest was hard at first, we needed to find some common ground, but actually it was a pretty level playing field because none of us had done anything like it before.
One of the more challenging aspects of the trip was the weather and at one point the team had to divert away from 8ft waves and a force 9 gale over the top of Scotland and instead sail through the Caledonian Canal. But this ended up being her favourite part of the trip,
the Caledonian Canal was absolutely beautiful and it gave us a chance to practice our skills in a different sailing environment.
Bethany feels that the experience has really changed her,
it has definitely given me more confidence
but above all, has cemented her desire to be more involved in outdoor pursuits.
I’ve been asked by the team to return as a volunteer and do some qualifications with them that will enable me to become a day skipper which I can’t wait to do!
Bethany was supported by the Plumpton Charitable Foundation, a charity that exists solely to support the students of Plumpton College with activities that would be beyond normal college resources.
The Charity bought my clothes and boots which I couldn’t have done without, it got so cold at times!
Fred Maillardet (pictured with Bethany), Chairman of the Charitable Foundation, said that
the Trustees of the Charity were overwhelmed by her commitment and drive and felt that she was a deserving beneficiary of our support.
Anyone interested in supporting the charity can contact Niki Wakelin on firstname.lastname@example.org
Since the original 400-acre College farm was bought back in 1919, Plumpton College has certainly seen a lot of changes.