Our Merseyside Police Cadets have this month taken part in a two-week voyage from Liverpool to Oban in Scotland, via Whitehaven in Cumbria and Douglas, on the Isle of Mann.
Eight of our Cadets were part of 84 young people aged between 16 and 30 who took part in the Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust (MAST) Apprentice Ship Cup Irish Sea tall ship regatta. The regatta ran between Monday, July 1st and Saturday, July 13th and was split into two week-long legs.
Five Cadets left Liverpool on a very windy 1st July aboard the Brian Boru and headed for Bangor, Douglas and eventually completed their leg at Whitehaven on 6th July. Here they changed crew and headed back to Liverpool with two Cadets heading straight to North Wales to complete their Silver Duke of Edinburgh’s Award training!
On the same day, three more Cadets headed from Liverpool to Whitehaven with a group of other trainees to join their crews. Two Cadets joined tall ship Adventure Wales and after the standard initial training headed for Bangor, Ardglass, Port Erin, Douglas, Conwy and then back to Liverpool. Last but not least, our eighth Cadet joined the crew of tall ship Phoenix. It was at this point that after realising she was the youngest crew member and now separated from her friends she wanted to go home! However, she stuck it out and thoroughly enjoyed her experience.
Citizens in Policing Lead, Inspector Tom Welch, said: "This was such a fantastic experience for all of our Cadets and we're all grateful to MAST for providing such an incredible opportunity, which develops so many life skills. Here's what they have to say about it..."
“The most memorable experience on board the ship was on the first day sailing when we saw dolphins going straight alongside the ship so we could film them. I would definitely recommend it and I would also definitely do it again.
“One of the most memorable experiences was Monday when we first set sail. It was extremely rough and everyone was sliding everywhere. I had to sit in the back and hold on tightly as you could see every wave coming to you. I would definitely recommend it to anyone, you don’t have to like sailing or know how to do it.
“My most memorable experience was creating memories with new people that you meet on the ship I enjoyed this because it was something new and it was an opportunity that doesn’t come round often. I would recommend this trip because you can learn new things that will help you later in life.
“I can't recommend this opportunity enough, there weren't alot of bad bits, but when there were all of the crew worked through it together and the rest more than made up for it. I would do it again in a heartbeat."
The two week adventure culminated in a presentation evening at the Museum of Liverpool on 13th July where some of the young people received awards in recognition of their contribution, including the Top Watch Award, The Captains Apprentice Award and Top Team Award for each ship. Cadets Maisie Brown and Adam Slocombe were recipients of the overall Top Watch Award on their respective ships!
About the charity
MAST is a charity that enables young people, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, to develop key life skills, such as self-confidence, teamwork, leadership and communication, respect, problem solving skills and more through the unique and challenging experience of crewing tall ships.
Set up in 2009 by Jim Graves it has gone from strength to strength and inspired over 1,500 young people. Jim is passionate about getting as many young people as possible, from all walks of life, to experience life at sea, not just to learn to sail but more importantly to learn about themselves.
“Sailing skills are a valuable by-product but the team building, and character building that sail training provides is invaluable… It uses the experience of being at sea principally as a means to enable people to learn about themselves, discover hidden strengths and talents and understand the value of working as a team”. – Jim Graves.
Jim spent 6 years in the Merchant Navy from the age of 16 and the impact it had on him made a huge positive difference in his life.
In 2013 MAST created the Apprentice Ship Cup (ASC) with the aim of providing apprentices from a range of private and public sector organisations the same opportunities. Those organisations have seen the benefits first hand in their apprentices through ASC and this continues to be a fantastic opportunity with more organisations getting involved each year.
MAST has been honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services and it will be officially presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Merseyside in August at a special ceremony.