Our Background

Oarsome Chance: how it all began

Oarsome Chance came about through the vision of founder Paul O’Grady. After a successful business career as a CEO of multiple businesses, Paul had become aware that an aptitude for business was not something young people were taught in schools and that often the young people with the greatest need in terms of acquiring skills for use in the workplace, were most likely to be those who had also disengaged with education and faced a future with little opportunity.

Paul decided that he wanted to address the issue and sought out a way to help disadvantaged young people aspire to their potential by helping them gain skills and a route to employability.

As a business man, Paul had identified the need, so using the acumen and strategy acquired from his years in business he sought out a solution. Through networking and research Paul discovered the St Ayles Skiff project, whereby groups build their own coastal rowing skiff from a kit, which would then be used by the community who built it. He saw in this model the potential for a project that could engage young people (rowing and boat building), provide them with crucial skills (practical and behavioural) and a crucial connection to their local community.

From this seed idea, Oarsome Chance was born and since the then, the charity has gone from strength to strength. OC now operates out of two hubs, has built 7 Skiffs (with more on the way), works actively with over 25 local schools and partners and has delivered over 6500 participant sessions… and this is just the beginning.

Oarsome Chance charitable status

Oarsome Chance is a privately funded charity, established in Oct 2015 and granted charitable status in June 2016.

Currently incorporating corporate, maritime and educational expertise, the Oarsome Chance Trustee board has a wealth of knowledge, including long track records of successful business operation as well as commercial and maritime experience, giving them an understanding of the value of vocational education and training for employability benefit.