TWELVE Hartlepool youngsters have started a life-changing voyage after boarding a tall ship bound for their hometown.
The team from throughout the town began a week-long adventure in Ipswich where they joined the crew of the James Cook, which will sail to Hartlepool this week.
The 12 youngsters have been sponsored by national organisation 41 Club, the association for ex-members of the Round Table, for the six-day voyage with sail training charity, Ocean Youth Trust North (OYT North).
Each youngster was selected because the charity felt they would benefit from its challenging form of youth development, which teaches young people to believe in themselves, realise their potential and take their futures into their own hands.
The ketch James Cook is due to arrive in Hartlepool on Friday after spending the weekend in Ipswich as part of the annual conference of the 41 Club.
The boat was sailed down to Ipswich from Hartlepool last week by 41 Club members, who were also getting their first taste of life on a tall ship.
Steve Lennon, general manager of OYT North, said: “These programmes are very important to the young people who take part. Through this sponsored voyage and the support of 41 Club, we will be able to work with many more young people this season who may otherwise have been unable to access our training programmes.”
Malcolm Lockey, national president of 41 Club, said: “I hope that this will just be the start of the adventure for them.
“I am sure that the skills they learn on board will continue to be extremely beneficial to them throughout their life.”
For more details about sail training opportunities email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact (0191) 2571212.