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A new project hopes to give more than 350 disadvantaged children in Plymouth the chance to enjoy hands-on adventures aboard traditional wooden sailing ships.

This unique ‘Spirit of Adventure’ project will be part of the Mayflower Ocean Festival, which takes place 4-10 May 2020, and a crowdfunding page has been launched to help make it a reality.

Spirit of Adventure aims to connect young people with the Mayflower story and with the ocean. The project is aimed at disadvantaged children, including children who are living in poverty, children in care and young carers, who have not had the chance to go sailing before.

Sarah Gibson, Chief Executive of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership BID (PWP), the organisation running the crowd funder, says: “Even though Plymouth boasts an enviable waterfront location as Britain’s Ocean City, many of our children and young people are disconnected with the ocean. We know that some of the city’s children have never been to Plymouth Hoe or visited the Barbican, let alone been on a wooden sailing boat. The schools we’re working with are located in some of the most deprived areas of the city. These children deserve to feel their own spirit of adventure, to test their skills as team players, as sailors and citizens of Britain’s Ocean City.”

PWP has teamed up with ASTO members The Island Trust and Sailing Tectona, as well as the Lynher Barge and the Bounty Project to run the adventurous sailing sessions. The four organisations have seven vessels between them which will undertake daily voyages in Plymouth Sound during the Mayflower Ocean Festival.

Each day, groups of children will work together as a team, hoisting the sails and sailing the boats themselves with support from expert staff. They will build communication, social and cooperation skills, and feel a sense of responsibility and achievement, giving a much-needed confidence boost and memories to last a lifetime.

“We’re thrilled to be working on this project – and when better to do it than during this extra special Mayflower 400 commemorative year. We’re asking local people and businesses to support Plymouth children and get behind this project to help make it happen,” continues Sarah.

In order to make the project a reality, PWP and its partners need to raise £50,000. This will pay for all safety and boat costs, as well as transport, refreshments and resources for the young people.

You can support this project by donating online

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