THIS weekend, four groups of young people from the North West set sail on the trip of a lifetime for the Chief Constable’s Challenge yacht race.
During the summer, the Chief Constable of Merseyside Police, Serena Kennedy, challenged three other forces to take to the seas for the yacht race.
The challenge, which was previously postponed due to the Covid pandemic, will see four 72ft Challenger yachts with groups of young people onboard from Merseyside, Cheshire, North Wales and Greater Manchester taking part.
Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said:
“The Chief Constable’s Challenge, which is in its third year, is about creating an unforgettable experience for some of our most deserving young people to provide them with the confidence and skills that will help them navigate their way through life.
“I wish all the officers and young people taking part the best of luck. I’m sure they will embrace this fantastic opportunity and put their all into making sure they cross the line first.”
The trip, run in partnership with Tall Ships Youth Trust, will see the young people take part in all aspects of sailing, from cooking and cleaning to setting the sails and taking the helm of an ocean-going racing yacht.
Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT) CEO, Alastair Floyd, said:
“We’re delighted to be teaming up with the four forces for these voyages, which will be a unique and challenging opportunity for the youth crews involved.
“We’re looking at extending our reach, specifically in areas where there is a high percentage of young people experiencing some form of disadvantage.
“The challenge is a great opportunity for us to spread the word about our vital work and support young people from across the North West.”
Working with the Oceanographic Department in Liverpool John Moores University the young people from Merseyside will also be involved in a research project about sea pollution.
They will live onboard the yacht, working in shifts to complete duties throughout the day and night. It is hoped the experience will develop the youngsters’ long-term life skills including team working, confidence building and problem-solving skills.
The Merseyside vessel’s trip will be funded using money taken from the hands of criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act, through Merseyside Police’s Community Cashback Fund.
Inspector Carl McNulty said:
“The Tall Ships Youth Trust Experience is a fantastic opportunity for young people to build on their teamwork, confidence and social skills in a challenging setting.
“The experience enables those who take part to realise their potential, whilst making new friends and acquiring new skills irrespective of their home lives or previous life experiences. Most importantly, it’s about having fun.”