First-time sailors make 300km expedition from Hull to London in charity relay

The teens getting ready to set sail

12 college students have docked off from Hull Marina to set sail for London, as part of a relay-style charity sail across the UK to raise money to improve youth opportunities in the heart of the country.

Newark and Sherwood is currently ranked 323rd out of 324 in the UK by the Social Mobility Commission. As a result, YMCA Newark and Sherwood have joined forces with Tall Ships Youth Trust to host 80 residents from the district as they sail around the UK to raise funds for the YMCA Newark and Sherwood Community and Activity Village.

The community hub will be unlike anywhere else in the UK, a space brimming with transformational opportunities for families at every point in their lives.

The teens (aged 16-19) from Newark College, are setting off on the seventh leg of the national sail. They will be sailing the 300km trip to London, where Tower Bridge will ceremoniously open on Friday 11th October.

With the help of experienced sailors from Tall Ships, they will get the full experience – eating, sleeping and learning to sail on a 72-foot Challenger Yacht.

Each group falls under a different reason for the Community Village – the college students make up the “Pathways to Opportunity” section, representing the work that the Community Village aims to do in helping young people to achieve employment and education opportunities. Other groups include “Inclusion for Excellence” which are those who are not currently in employment or education, and “Tackling the Challenge”, sports representatives from the district.

So far the trip has seen other members of the Nottinghamshire community sail to and from cities such as Inverness, Liverpool and Portsmouth.

Craig Berens, Chief Operating Officer of YMCA Newark and Sherwood, said: “The cornerstone of our work is to create equal lifelong opportunities for all, no matter what their background is. Early life experiences influence your core values into adulthood and opportunities for young people to thrive often rely on an unfair postcode lottery which negatively affects social wellness, healthy living and youth development in deprived communities.

“We know that poor developmental opportunities can significantly contribute to not just wealth, but to life expectancy. This community project is about inclusion and opportunity for those of all ages – five or 50 – to belong, contribute and thrive.”

YMCA is a national charity which supports youth development, healthy living and social responsibility to build stronger communities through a plethora of services. From accommodation for homeless young people to a range of skills-based training and apprenticeship schemes, the charity is based on Christian values of caring, honesty and respect.

The voyage has been made possible by BNA Charitable Incorporated Organisation, which has funded the trip around the UK so that all fundraising goes towards the YMCA Community and Activity Village.