From the 23rd to 27th of July 2017, the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST) and the Orpheus Centre partnered up for a 5-day voyage. Songs on the Sea started in Southampton and ended in Portsmouth for an in-port event celebrating diversity, creativity, ability and breaking down barriers between disabled and non-disabled people. The crew consisted of four alumni students from the Orpheus Centre, their support 'buddies', skilled tutors and members of the public and worked with other education and charitable partners. During the voyage, the crew wrote and rehearsed a musical spectacular which was performed upon arrival in Portsmouth.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust operates the only two tall ships in the world which were custom built so that disabled people can sail as full crew members – challenging crew to do things they never thought possible, improving self-belief, confidence and showcasing the power of inclusive teams in an enabled environment.

Songs on the Sea provided the chance for our disabled voyage crew to increase their confidence and demonstrate new skills while building friendships and developing their musical talent. It also offered effective team-working opportunities alongside the non-disabled crew who gained a deeper understanding of their needs and skills – challenging misconceptions surrounding disability and discrimination in an innovative way.

“It was a great trip, and I learned a lot (as always with JST) but the music, especially songwriting and the masterclass in how to put a first-rate performance together with mainly amateur performers, took it to a new level so thanks to Orpheus and your very talented musicians, young and old, for making this an extra-special voyage.” Alex, Voyage Crew