Ten students between the ages of 13 and 14 are sailing from Greenock port to Inverness this week, in a relay-style charity sail across the UK coastline to raise money for YMCA Newark and Sherwood.
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 teens, from Magnus Church of England Academy in Newark, are setting off on the fifth leg of the national sail, as it passes its halfway point. They are sailing for five days to Inverness, where the next team will then take over and sail to Hull.
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 teens make up the “Education for All” section, representing the fact that all school pupils should have the same learning 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.
The full trip will see other members of the Nottinghamshire community sail to and from cities such as Hull, Inverness and London, where the Tower Bridge will ceremoniously open.
The Community Village will be the first of its kind, aiming to ultimately bring opportunities to the isolated rural area.
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.