CatZero CatZero

About Us

About Us

CatZero is a recigisterd charity No 1138124.  It is also a limited company No 6777504.

Category Zero, or CatZero, is the rating for vessels registered to navigate all international waters – there are no limits.

Our aim is to equip people with the skills, belief and attitudes to help them move on in the world - there are no limits.

CatZero is a unique, not-for-profit organisation which has expert staff delivering projects for young people and older long term unemployed people. It is an award winning registered charity specifically designed to meet the holistic needs of young people, people with additonal support needs and their families.

It was inspired by the positive impact of the participation of 10 young people in the 2007/8 Clipper round the world yacht race on board the Hull and Humber vessel.  Each of these young  people lived in Hull and were not in employment, education or training (NEETs).  Working alongside local and national business people, including experienced sailors and those who, like themselves had never boarded a boat before, the young people impressed those around them so much, they decided to do something in order to offer this opportunity to more young people.

Ten years later, CatZero continues to work with the most hard to reach people through the delivery of innovative development training programmes that allow participants to self-assess their needs and set their own targets in order to improve their lives. The programmes take participants outside their comfort zone to complete a number of tasks. These include training sessions, introduction to employment and education opportunities, links to local community groups, all leading to a sailing challenge on board a 72ft challenge-racing yacht as a full crew member. This enables each young person to demonstrate their ability to work alongside local business and community leaders as equals.

CatZero see being unemployed as just a title gand it is often an indicator of other underlying issues, or as CatZero likes to call them, challenges.

The programmes CatZero offer are a balance between challenge and support. CatZero challenges people through personal action plans, challenging activities and personal goal setting which enables them to understand where they currently are, plan where they would like to be and then support them, through a process of positive activities and training, to put steps in place to achieve their own goals and improve their lives.

CatZero’s success is undoubtedly based on the development of its innovative approach to working with participants and the underlying principles of identifying and using best practice.  CatZero ensures that participants are engaged in all elements of the planning, delivery and review of programmes and work in partnership with local employers, activity providers and form links enabling access to the most appropriate services to meet the individual need of each individual.

"Thanks for all your hard work, dedication, help and encouragement ... although he didn't want to ask at first about your programme (too shy) he has enjoyed himself more and more, making good friends along the way ... he looked forward to each activity, had purpose to his day and realised how lucky he was to be included in the 10 week journey" (parents of a recent participant)

"Preparing for every eventuality is as important in real life as much as it is at sea. Young people could really learn a lot on the programme." (Stacey Blyth, lead administrator Young People’s Support Service, speaking to Grimsby Telegraph)

Why is CatZero Needed?
The Humber area has up to two times the national average of young people not in education, employment or training (NEET).  After the decision was taken to form CatZero, NHS funding was secured for the 72 foot Challenge Racing Yacht “CatZero”.  The project was then successfully awarded WNF money by the Local Strategic Partnership ‘OneHull’ to work with some of Hull’s most difficult to reach young people aged 16-18 who were classified as NEET.

Statistically at risk from significant health and social problems, NEET classified young people can be in a potentially vulnerable position, being up to 70% more likely to experiment with drugs and up to 3 times more likely to offend.  They also represent a tremendous cost to the taxpayer over the course of a lifetime.

Following the success of the initial Hull project, CatZero developed a partnership with JobCentre Plus and expanded into other areas in the region and are now running a range of programmes for young people up to the age of 28 across the whole Humber region.  As well as the basic core programme, CatZero work intensively with young people wanting to start their own business and have also expanded to work with schools, academies and colleges to help with the transition from primary to secondary school, exam years and transition from secondary school into further education or employment.

The CatZero programme invests to save and improves the lives of each individual as well as the local community.

Benefits of the 2013 Grimsby Intervention Programme

Although calculating the cost of a young person who does not receive intervention is highly subjective, CatZero were able to use a number of supported sources* to undertake a cost analysis and estimate the savings one programme can bring.

Ten participants took part in the first programme in Grimsby.  All of these were NEET.  Additionally, six had been or were in the youth justice system, two were homeless and one had mental health issues.  Based on the research available, the estimated cost of these ten individuals over their lifetime to the public would be over £5 million.  With this is mind, effective intervention is essential.

The cost of running the CatZero programme for these ten individuals was just £30,000.  ALL of these young people completed the course - the first thing many of them have achieved.  Nine are now in a positive outcome and are giving back to the community.  CatZero stays in touch with each particpant and continues to offer support as they move into different phases of their lives.

"CatZero gives youngsters the skills, confidence and motivation to develop into successful individuals - a win-win for local people and local businesses.” (Dr Paul Sewell, Managing Director, Sewell Group, speaking to, 24/02/12)

"Thanks again, the programme was brilliant, and as you said on Friday 'the programme works' - it does and we are grateful" (parents of a JCP participant)

*University of York research, estimating the lifetime cost of a NEET, published in 2010, the Ministry of Justice cost of a cohort of young offenders published in 2011 and the Troubled Families cost database.