Youngsters set sail for sea challenge

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DOZENS of youngsters are taking to the seas to develop vital skills.

A 72ft yacht is setting sail from Hartlepool today with 48 young people on board as part of a National Citizen Service 2011 pilot.

The boat is provided by the Tall Ship Youth Trust and will be the seafarers’ home for four nights while they take part in various activities, including hoisting and setting the sails, taking the helm, cooking and cleaning.

The aim is for those taking part to develop skills such as teamwork, leadership, communication and problem-solving.

The National Citizen Service 2011 is providing 10,000 16-year-olds the chance to take part in a range of projects nationally, with 1,000 in the Cleveland area.

The Government scheme is a Big Society initiative supporting young people from all backgrounds to work together, take on new challenges and make a difference.

Tim Law, marketing and operations director of the Tall Ships Youth Trust, said: “This is a great opportunity for young people to learn to sail whilst developing skills that will benefit all aspects of their lives. These voyages can be life changing and I’m sure that the experience will have a great impact on the overall effect of the National Citizen Service scheme.”

Christine Davidson, from Cleveland Police, added: “One of the major draws on the initiative has been the chance for young people to set sail with such an experienced and knowledgeable crew as those involved with the Tall Ships. I think this is a fantastic opportunity for the young people of Cleveland which enables them to spend their spare time doing something worthwhile, informative and fun.”

A second National Citizen Service voyage will begin on Monday, July 25, from Hartlepool.

There are also still places available for adults to join the Challenger Yachts on a day’s sail from Hartlepool on Saturday, July 23, when members of the public can get on board one of the yachts to get a taste of life at sea.

The day sail costs £99 per person and is available to 16 to 80-year-olds, under 18’s must be accompanied by an adult.

The four 72ft Challenger Yachts will also be open to the public from 11am-4pm on Sunday, July 24, at Hartlepool Marina.

Contact Tall Ships Adventures on (02392) 832055 for more information.