Ten young people to represent North Wales Police in 'trip of a lifetime' yacht race
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Ten young people from North Wales selected to take part in a ‘trip of a lifetime’ are to take to the seas for a yacht race against youngsters from across other Northwest force areas.
The Chief Constable’s Challenge will see four tall ships race from Portsmouth to Liverpool on Saturday 22nd October, finishing at the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool a week later on Friday, October 28th.
The 72ft former round the world challenger yachts will be sailed by four groups of 10 young people, each representing North Wales Police, Merseyside Police, Cheshire Police and Greater Manchester Police.
Yesterday saw the official launch at the Royal Albert Dock in Liverpool by Merseyside Police’s Chief Constable Serena Kennedy.
It came following a two-year postponement due the pandemic.
The event, in partnership with Tall Ship Youth Trust is the brainchild of Merseyside Police Inspector Carl McNulty and Sergeant Maggie Howard, who wanted to offer the opportunity to “deserving” young people who have faced hardship in their lives.
Sergeant Maggie Howard said: “The young people involved will really have the trip of a lifetime.
“Lots of young people today will turn up to school against all the odds, regardless of what has gone on at home. Some are victims of crime, come from families of where there is domestic violence – and despite everything, they still give 100% every day.
“Those involved who have been selected deserve a bit of a break.”
The North Wales vessel’s trip has received significant funding from the North Wales Police and Community Trust (PACT) and supported by the High Sheriff.
The North Wales competitors will be joined aboard by Citizens in Policing Coordinator, Poppy Hadfield-Jones and Special Constable, Josh Taylor – in addition to crew from the Tall Ship Youth Trust.
North Wales Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Chris Allsop will also join the crew as the voyage sails into Liverpool.
Speaking at the event, ACC Allsop said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for these young people.
“Those involved are all between the ages of 15 and 17 – some have had challenging backgrounds – and it really brings them together to learn from one and other, build on their life skills and their confidence.
“There’s lots for the young people to learn – it’s a brilliant event and I wish them all the very best of luck.”
Olivia George, 15, who will form part of the North Wales team, said: “This will be an opportunity of a lifetime for me - I am going to have so much fun.
“I’m most looking forward to developing more skills for the future, making new friendships and bonds – and I’m looking forward to the adventure. It’s going to be really cool.
“I’ve never done anything like this before, so this opportunity is such a big one for me.”
Chas Cowell, Volunteer Manager for the Tall Ship Youth Trust, said the challenge is also a great opportunity for the young people to see the police force in a different way.
“Over the years, I’ve seen those involved in a challenge like this come back as better young people. It builds on their life skills, independent living skills and their workplace skills.
“There will be no cocktails or swimming pools as part of this cruise, these young people will be doing everything themselves – from steering, getting the sails up, working four hours on, four hours off, cooking and cleaning. Without them, we’d not be able to get them from A to B.
“I think a lot of them may find not having any Wi-Fi a bit of a challenge, and possibly the sleep deprivation. Not many of them will be used to having four hours sleep and then working.
“But they’re going to get through it as a team and by working together.”
Chief Constable Serena Kennedy added: “I hope the young people taking part enjoy every second of this experience, making new friends, learning new skills, but more importantly, I hope they have fun.
“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.”
On behalf of the PACT board of trustees, Dave Evans PACT Project Manager, said: "PACT has been delighted to support young people from across North Wales to take part in the Chief Constables Challenge.
"It’s a fantastic opportunity for our young people to get involved in, especially after the difficulties that we have all experienced over the past two years.
"We wish those taking part every success and look forward to hearing more about their experiences.”