Youngsters swap Wirral for the high seas

Nine intrepid members from Wirral’s Hive Youth Zone took part in an unforgettable boat trip that included shooting stars, dolphins and seasickness.

The youngsters are all aged between 14-16 and sailed from Falmouth to Liverpool via the Isle of Man as part of the NHS Cadets programme.

The trip was organised with help from Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust (MAST).

Last year Birkenhead based Hive Youth Zone was awarded £200,000 by the Steve Morgan Foundation as part of the Community Match Challenge Fund to help them continue their core offer to young people during the pandemic.

The latest week-long trip was far from straightforward as the group had to negotiate bad weather, rough waters and lots of seasickness but they were rewarded by seeing a shower of shooting stars and a pod of dolphins.

Philanthropy manager Ashley Pennington said it had a life-changing experience for the young people involved.

She said: “Alongside the support from MAST these young people had to raise some of the money themselves. The trip was all about raising aspirations and giving them independence.

“The trip taught them all about team bonding and communicating. They’ve taken some of the experiences that they learnt from the trip into their daily lives.”

She said the support from the Steve Morgan Foundation had been vital in helping meet their core costs but said challenges still existed.

“Mental health and food poverty are still issues for us,” she said. “One in three young people in the Wirral are living in poverty at the moment so we’re a real hub in the community.”

A member of the OnSide Youth Zones network, Wirral Youth Zone (The Hive) is a locally-led independent charity that opened in 2017.

It is housed in a state-of-the-art inclusive facility which includes a sports hall, MUGA pitch, climbing wall, gym, dance studio, skate park, salon, media suite, creative art space, music room incorporating a recording studio, cafe, employability suite and sensory room.

The Hive offers young people extensive safe and engaging opportunities; far more than a well-equipped centre the charity aims to raise aspirations, enhance prospects, improve health etc. and as such also provides a range of targeted provision such as mentoring, employability and leadership programmes.

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