YOUNGSTERS can look forward to sailing on the River Stour this summer thanks to a charity receiving thousands of pounds.

Newsquest Media Group, publishers of the Gazette, marked the start of 2020 by donating more than £140,000 to 40 different community organisations across the country.

One of the organisations benefitting from the a slice of the funding is the Manningtree-based charity My Blue Pass.

Gazette reporter Rebecca Jones handed a cheque for £2,950 to the charity’s chairman Garron Baines.

Mr Baines, from Mistley, said the cash will go towards six dinghies and storage racks for delivering sailing training sessions to young people on the River Stour.

The grants are made through the Gannett Foundation UK, whose trustees worked through applications lodged through Newsquest’s 200 news titles and magazines.

Mr Baines said he was grateful to receive the cheque.

He said: “We launched last year and we now have 180 members.

“The charity gives young people the chance to work as a team.

“We also work with headteachers to see what young people can benefit from the charity.”

The charity is holding its first free taster session of the year at Manningtree Beach for new sailors on May 10.

Then on May 23 until May 27, the charity is holding a trip for seven young people aged from 12 to 16 on the Blue Mermaid barge for a a sailing expedition.

During the summer there will also be sailing training sessions off the beach in Manningtree for beginners with qualified Royal Yacht Association instructors.

Mr Baines added: “We want to build on what we did last year and put sailing on the map on the River Stour so people can develop their skills.

“It’s liberating and enables people to discover themselves and develop a passion for being out on the water.”

To find out more about the charity, visit, or