Cattewater Harbour Commissioners is giving £20,000 to help more than 1,000 young people to take part in water-based activities during the Mayflower Ocean Festival this May.
The funds will support two key projects that aim to connect young people in Plymouth with the ocean and the Mayflower story: Spirit of Adventure and Sailors of Tomorrow.
Spirit of Adventure will give more than 350 children the chance to enjoy hands-on adventures aboard traditional wooden sailing ships, helping them to build communication, social and cooperation skills and giving a much-needed confidence boost with memories to last a lifetime.
Spirit of Adventure is currently being crowdfunded by Plymouth Waterfront Partnership, with £10,000 of Cattewater Harbour Commissioners’ sponsorship going towards the total.
The Sailors of Tomorrow programme will give 1,000 young people the chance to take part in dinghy sailing sessions during half-day sessions at the Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre. For many, this will be their first ever sea experience.
An ongoing legacy programme will also enable young people living in deprived areas to enjoy at least six sessions with the Horizons Children’s Sailing Charity and Tamar River Sailing Club. Those who take part will then be supported to continue sailing with their chosen club.
Charles Hackett, Chief Executive of Mayflower 400, said: "We’re incredibly grateful to Cattewater Harbour Commissioners for their support. It means that children and young people from across Plymouth will be able to try a new activity and feel a connection with the ocean that’s right on our doorstep.
"It’s going to have a hugely positive long-term impact, helping to build confidence, develop new skills and potentially inspire an entirely new generation of sailors.
"The aim for the Mayflower Ocean Festival is not only to connect people with the ocean but also the Mayflower story, making the most of Plymouth’s amazing natural assets as Britain’s Ocean City."
The Mayflower Ocean Festival takes place from 4 to 10 May, 2020, and is a key event during this commemorative year, which marks 400 years since the Mayflower’s significant voyage across the Atlantic.
As well as on-water activities for young people with the Spirit of Adventure and Sailors of Tomorrow programme, the festival includes Pirates Weekend Plymouth, the start of the OSTAR and TWOSTAR races, a marine show and the Shanty Shindig - a three-day programme of shanty bands performing on the Barbican.
The Spirit of Adventure Crowdfunder page is running until 12 March and there are a variety of rewards available for donors, from Mayflower pin badges to unique sailing experiences and corporate sponsorship opportunities. To find out more and support the programme, visit crowdfunder.co.uk/spirit-of-adventure.
We're aware that with the current COVID-19 pandemic there is uncertainty about the future of major events across the country. We’d like to reassure all of our supporters and partners that this project will go ahead during 2020.
If COVID-19 results in the delay of the planned dates, we will plan for this project to go ahead later in the year and will work with our partners to make sure that all vessels are able to take part to provide this amazing sailing activity for disadvantaged young people in Plymouth.
We’re very close to our target, and we’re confident that with our network of partners and supporters that we will reach our target of raising £50,000 by 19 March. Now more than ever, we know that providing this opportunity for these young people to have something to look forward to will be much needed!
To pledge your support please visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/spirit-of-adventure
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