CatZero CatZero


CatZero designs and organises bespoke programmes for schools in order to engage students and improve their aspirations, self esteem and confidence. CatZero uses its 72 ft round the world racing challenge yacht as an alternative learning environment to offer the opportunity for attitudinal change by building self confidence, raising self esteem and motivating young people by demonstrating that there are no limits!

With over 4 years of experience in delivering innovative and successful programmes to unemployed young people in the Hull, East Riding and North East Lincolnshire areas, CatZero uses sailing at the heart of each tailored programme to develop pupils’ transferrable skills in self-confidence, teamwork and cognitive problem solving. CatZero takes its name from the insurance rating of the yacht, classed as “category zero”, meaning it can take on all conditions in any part of the world. We take this “no-limits” approach into our work with young people to enable and support them in achieving their full potential.

All programmes are undertaken using Restorative Practices (RP) methodology which enables those involved to challenge and support each other in a controlled environment with each person having an equal say in any decisions and, most importantly, how they feel about what is happening. RP is a fundamental component of any CatZero programme and is a crucial tool in assisting team dynamics, communication and development, as well as developing confidence and self-esteem and aiding personal action planning.

Why Sailing?

Sailing places young people in a controlled yet challenging environment to show themselves and others how they can perform.

Research has shown that young people benefit from the challenging in a number of ways including the sense of achievement completing the sailing and gaining a relevant qualification alongside the sense of achievement in playing a key role as part of a team.

Through consultations, CatZero and your school will identify targets and aims and come to an agreed solution about how to achieve these key goals through our product and service range. Typically we then present the action plan to the pupils accessing the programme that is tailor made for them.

Successful Sails have been completed by Hymers and New Beacon Schools since 2013.    Described as 'the best school trip ever' the feedback from staff and young people confirms the benefits of sailing and both have rebooked for a third year.  Read more of the school blogs by clicking here.

For more information on how to arrange a CatZero programme for your school, please contact us on 01482 333303 or email

“It has given them the confidence to say 'yes, I can do this'. The difference in their work ethic is amazing. They get the work done and are aiming for higher grades. They're just changed people. They have become real leaders now and I never would have thought they had it in them." (Alison Mulqueen, Vice principal and 6th form director Archbishop Sentamu Academy, speaking to Hull Daily Mail 03/03/12)

“The trip was certainly an experience! Despite rough seas incurring bouts of sea sickness, our students pulled through displaying resilience and determination in taking on the role of skipper: keeping watch on deck through the night; navigating the boat; and ensuring we all had a safe sail. There was also a chance for students to take part in some Maths and English intervention, which was effectively linked to the tasks on board.” (Sirius Academy Teacher)


School Programmes

Your programme is completely written in consultation with yourself to achieve your target outcomes.  This can include:

• One or two day introduction events, where we
   engage the young people in physical and
   cognitive activities to introduce them to
   teamwork, leadership and communication
   principals; and / or
• Classroom based sessions to study voyage
   details and potential destinations – everyday
   maths without even realising it; and / or
• Embarking the trip of a lifetime on board our
   Challenge 72 Racing Yacht – anything from
   a day to ten days to suit the target audience
   and budget.  Sailing is a challenge and
   classified as a residential activity where the
   group of young people are given the
   opportunity to work together and fulfil key
   tasks on board the 72ft Challenge yacht
   ‘CatZero’.  This enables each young person
   to put in place the planning which they
   have developed as a team.
• Intensive programmes, anything from 3
   months to a full academic year.  Designed
   to work with pupils in years 9, 10 or 11 to
   re-engage them back into education and
   help motivate them during these key years
   and throughout their exam period. 

Developing self-esteem, aspirational goal setting and practical skills, CatZero’s school programmes have a strong history of inspiring and developing young people, giving them a unique C.V building opportunity and evidence of using skills to bring to interview situations.

Past Programmes

In 2013 CatZero began working closely with primary and secondary schools in Hull, running a programme for year 6 pupils to help with with the Transition from primary school into secondary school.  Three secondary schools took part (Winifred Holtby, Andrew Marvell and Kelvin) along with each of their feeder primary schools.

The partnership with Kelvin school continued in 2014 and another successful programme was run with participants from 2013 acting as mentors to those pulpils making the transition the following year.

In 2014 The Sewell Group formed a partnership with CatZero to work with young people aged 15-16 in year 11 as they started on their GCSEs.  This was closely followed by a second programme for pupils aged 13-15 in years 9 and 10, funded by the NHS.

Both programmes were run with pupils from Archbishop Sentamu Academy who saw a tremendous attitudinal change by participants.

And don't just take our word for it; here's the views of some year 11s:

CatZero has been the best experience of my life. The programme has really built my confidence. CatZero was great and very inspiring and it will help me in life. (Martyn)

I am much more confident about leaving school. CatZero has given me the motivation to look for work and you have shown me different opportunities not just looking for one thing. CatZero has given the confidence to take on new roles. It has helped me develop my understanding of opportunities in life and what I’ll need to do to achieve my career goal. It’s a great experience to take on and the staff of CatZero inspire and will make a great impact on your life. (Jamie)

It has been great getting some qualifications. The destination plan has helped me for the future. It has helped me build my CV. (Mark)

The CatZero programme has changed my life. (Callum)

And here's just one parent's views:

I just wanted to say a HUGE "THANK YOU" to each and everyone of you who were involved in the Transition Programme.  We have just enjoyed a fantastic evening at The Guildhall (what a wonderful venue) listening to your work with the young people and the secondary schools.

Lydia had a super time with you on the programme and loved every minute of it, and is still making her omelettes at home experiencing with various ingredients!  She was so looking forwards to this evening but a little apprehensive too!  Think that was due to the fuss and attention.

Thank you for giving her the opportunity to be involved in this work.  As parents we have certainly appreciated all your time, support and enthusiasm!

These programmes were such a success, a three month bespoke programme was then run in Grimsby for teh Havelock Acadmy and another bespoke programme was designed and run for a full year, again with pupils from Aspire in Hull.

During 2015/16 a programme was developed for the Sullivan Centre, supported by the NHS.  This had such an impact that the school are commisisonining another programme to run from September 2016.

Bespoke Team Days / Summer Schools

CatZero also run bespoke team building events for schools and have run these for a number of consequtive years at Kelvin Hall school as well as other events for Sirius Academy and Archbishoop Sentamu.  We are able to offer anything from 3 hours to 10 days on both land and sea, or a mix of both, to suit your needs and your budget.