Eighty residents from Newark have taken part in a circumnavigation of the UK by boat to raise money and awareness to support issues relating to the district’s poor social mobility.
The locals, none of whom had any prior sailing experience took part in a six-week national sailing relay around the whole of the UK in aid of YMCA Newark and Sherwood, to fund its new Community and Activity Village.
The sail started in Portsmouth, and circumnavigated Plymouth, Cardiff, Liverpool, Greenock, Inverness, Hull and London, where the Tower Bridge ceremoniously raised for them, before finishing back in Portsmouth. The expedition was a joint venture between YMCA N&S and Tall Ships Youth Trust.
Residents as young as 13 took part in the sail, where they ate, slept and lived on board for between four and six days straight. They also celebrated with other local YMCAs as each new crew navigated the waves. Other participants included apprentices, college students, council workers and YMCA residents living in the charity’s supported accommodation following a period of homelessness.
When the final group of sailors arrived back in Portsmouth, the home of Tall Ships, they were greeted by Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon, who is an ambassador of the sailing charity.
Residents as young as 13 took part in the sail, where they ate, slept and lived on board for between four and six days. Other participants included apprentices, college students, council workers and YMCA residents living in the charity’s supported accommodation following a period of homelessness.
The first of its kind Community Village will help to reduce the lack of opportunities to the rural area which is currently ranked 323rd out of 324 by the Social Mobility Commission.
The scale ranks all of the local authorities in England in terms of life chances of someone born into a disadvantaged background. The East Midlands has been identified as the region with the worst outcomes for those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with Newark and Sherwood the worst-performing local authority.
The money raised will help YMCA Newark and Sherwood to continue building spaces in the Village, which will offer integrated family programmes, sensory classes and other facilities, as well as scholarships for those needing a helping hand. Its aim is to help young people acquire skills to help them through life.
Craig Berens, Chief Operating Officer of YMCA Newark and Sherwood, said:
“The cornerstone of our work is in creating equal life opportunities for all, no matter what their background is. Early life experiences educate 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.
“We are delighted with the work of our sailing superstars in the expedition. The donations that keep coming in are so appreciated, as they will help us to make a real difference in our community. Our youngsters need the right support to believe in themselves, to get jobs, the right education, do what they love, and lead fulfilled lives.”
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