On Friday 30 August the Tall Ships Youth Trust will set sail for a 1,675 nautical mile relay-style voyage around the UK with a total of 60 young people. The Challenge will see 6 groups of 10 young people, from all walks of life, each taking part in one leg of the voyage around the UK. The young people, aged 12 – 25, will be responsible for everything on board from cooking and cleaning to steering and learning to read charts.

The locations and teams for the journey legs are as follows:

  • Portsmouth to Brixham crewed by young carers from Torbay and the organisation Young Devon
  • Brixham to Liverpool crewed by young people from the Hive, Wirral Youth Zone in Birkenhead
  • Liverpool to Greenock crewed by young people from the Temple Shafton Youth Project in Glasgow
  • Greenock to Newcastle crewed by young people selected by the Newcastle Social Services team
  • Newcastle to Ipswich crewed by students from Hull Trinity House School and Hull Schools sponsored by North Atlantic (Holdings) Ltd
  • Ipswich to Portsmouth crewed by students from Stepney Green Maths, Computing & Science College & George Green's School based in inner-city London

Working together, the young people will be responsible for all aspects of sailing, from cooking and cleaning to setting the sails and taking the helm of the ocean-going racing yacht. Whilst on board they will be assigned to watches (teams) working in shifts to complete duties through the day and night. 

This is a unique physically and mentally challenging experience at sea which will develop the youngsters’ long-term life skills including team working, confidence building and problem solving skills. 

The Trust has a well-established reputation for providing invaluable preparation for the challenges we all have in our lives, at work and as part of society. This is achieved by breaking the pattern of conventional behaviour and encouraging team participation and interaction under challenging and sometimes arduous conditions. Learning how to rely on and be relied upon, how to lead, and make decision are all skills fostered by the Tall Ships Experience. 

The Tall Ships Youth Trust will be hosting open days at each of the stopover ports and welcome members of the public to join them to find out more about the yachts and the work of the Trust. The open days will be on the following dates:

  • Brixham Town Quay on Saturday 7 September
  • Liverpool, Albert Dock – Monday16 September
  • Greenock, James Wyatt Dock – Sunday 22 September
  • Newcastle, Royal Quays Marina – Saturday 5 October
  • Ipswich, Orwell Quay – 12 October.

Tall Ships Youth Trust CEO, Richard Leaman Grey, said: “I am delighted we have set sail with this exciting project, with 60 young people, from all backgrounds and from all over the UK. These voyages will provide a safe but challenging environment in which our young people will transform the way they think and feel about themselves, at a critical time in their lives. I have no doubt this will be a truly life-changing experience for everybody involved.”