A SAILING scheme is disbanding after helping hundreds of Hartlepool youngsters to enjoy life on the open waves.
The Orcel Sea Training project, which is based in Wynyard Road, is winding up six years after it was formed.
But despite a tinge of sadness, bosses are disbanding the scheme while it is on a high.
Its successes have gone far beyond its original aim. Chairman Glenys Thompson explained: “It is sad but when we started, our sole intention was to get a team in the Tall Ships Races in 2010 which finished in Hartlepool and we just kept on going afterwards.
“We have helped children who have since gone on to university who might otherwise have been hanging around on street corners.”
Glenys added: “We have worked with hundreds of young people and raised £110,000 which has all been spent on activities
“The main reason for disbanding is it has become increasingly difficult to raise the required funds to run the activities and we are spending too much time fundraising which takes the emphasis off the youth work and sailing.”
Orcel Sea Training’s original aim was to help the youth of Hartlepool to develop confidence, team work and leadership skills through sail training.
Glenys added: “Over the last five years, I believe we have improved the future prospects and outlook of many young people who needed the extra encouragement or inspiration.
“Over the past six years hundreds of people have had the opportunity to take part in our activities. As well as organising sailing voyages we have organised fishing trips and Royal Yachting Association shore-based courses.
“I have been lucky enough to take part in several voyages. I have to thank the adult committee for all their support. Without it we simply would not have been able to function.”
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