22 young people to take part
A group of disadvantaged youths have today set off on a circumnavigation of Britain as part of the Around and Around project.
Alan Priddy, the first man to cross the North Atlantic by RIB, is leading the expedition on Robertson’s G, an Ohlsen 38 that competed in the 1976 OSTAR.
22 young people, eight adult skippers and six young adult co-skippers will take it in turns to be part of the seven-strong crew.
The youngsters taking part are between 12 and 15 years old and live near the Solent. The project aims to address the factors that have so far limited their opportunities.
Around and Around has grown out of the Raymarine Lively Lady Project, which took a similarly disadvantaged group of youths around the world in 2006-2008.
Lauren Harris, one of the original group of young adults and now a mentor to the new group, said: ‘Working with the Raymarine Lively Lady Project and sailing on Lively Lady really opened my eyes to the opportunities available to me.
‘It made me realise that it didn’t matter what had happened in my life, if I worked hard enough I could achieve whatever I set out to do.
‘I’m now studying Outdoor Adventure Management at Chichester University and it’s great to be able to show these new young adults how Around and Around can change their lives too.’
The end goal of the project was the voyage around Britain, but the real focus has been the life skills that the group have acquired along the way.
For many of the crew, learning to sail has been a big challenge, but it is the trust, responsibility, teamwork and self-confidence that they have developed along the way that will help them turn around their lives and widen their opportunities.
Also critical to their long-term development are the budgeting, provisioning, organisation, planning and management skills that are vital to making a large-scale voyage work.
The group plan on stopping in Scrabster in northern Scotland, Cushendall in Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. They aim to be back in the Solent by the end of August.
Image courtesy of Around and Around.