Merseyside Police Chief Constable, Serena Kennedy, has challenged three other forces to take to the seas for a yacht race later this year.
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. They will set sail from Portsmouth on Sunday 22 October and their voyage will finish at the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool on Friday 28 October.
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.
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.
“It is great that we have been able to use cash and assets seized from criminals to make this happen.
“Merseyside has a proud maritime history and this is a fantastic opportunity to get a taste of life out on the seas. Alongside the physical challenge, this trip will give young people taking part the chance to learn new skills, build their confidence and improve their ability to work as part of a team.
“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.”
Inspector Carl McNulty said:
“The Tall Ships Experience is a fantastic opportunity for young people to build on their team work, 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.”
The young people, aged 13-16 years old, were nominated by their respective schools and selected by an independent panel.
The seven-day trip 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. Working with the Oceanographic Department in Liverpool John Moores University they will also be involved in a research project about sea pollution.
They will live on board 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.