Underprivileged children helped find jobs after sailing on a tall ship

Disadvantaged young people on Merseyside learn life skills on ships that have sailed the seven seas.

The tall ship Blue Clipper, which was recently moored at Albert Dock, is one of the vessels on which Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust (MAST) has enabled thousands of young people to reach their full potential through teamwork .

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MAST is a charitable organization dedicated to guiding, mentoring and supporting the educational and practical achievements of young people, and this week its President Jim Graves BEM, hosted an open house on the Blue Clipper with the aim of bringing businesses in the North West and London to pledge their support for the next generation of young Mersey.

Jim Graves, who himself has circumnavigated the oceans three times, said: “We are all volunteers at MAST and we help people get into the maritime industry. For the past 13 years we have worked with young people as young as 14 years old. upwards in creating the environment to help them develop their life paths.

“We do this by putting them on a tall ship and we set up welfare for them. They sail on a tall ship with the guidance of a professional crew. The young people don’t have any qualifications and they learn skills skills, such as communication and team building. They can then apply these skills at work. We mix them with companies and present them with career paths.

Jim Graves organizer of MAST and captain of the ship. Photo by Colin Lane

“Companies sponsor individuals for a week and they can get a qualification at the end. They also have a mentor. They realize the value of themselves when they are on the ship.

“Young people come out different because they’ve been challenged. What we’re trying to do is bring out their full potential. cook and work at different times of the day, morning and evening, they recognize each other.

“We encourage that with the companies. As for the individual, he has to prove that he wants to come, so he has to raise money. By making a contribution, he buys into the program.

“We ask them to complete a personal logbook and they write everything in it. When they are done on the ship, they take their personal logbook with them and they can show it to employers, which has helped them find jobs. jobs.”

Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, Mark Blundell, with MAST Chairman Jim Graves and Captain Grace of the Blue Clipper at the Albert Dock
Lord-Lieutenant of Merseyside, Mark Blundell, with MAST Chairman Jim Graves and Captain Grace of the Blue Clipper at the Albert Dock

MAST is supported by private, public and government organisations, including Liverpool City Council, the National Lottery and Cammell Laird.

And MAST’s efforts have been recognized with the Mersey Maritime Positive Impact Award 2018, the Lord Lieutenant’s Award 2018 and the Queen’s Award for Voluntry Services 2019.

Some former students have achieved great things in life.

Jim added: “We’ve had many inner city kids who have gone on to do amazing things because through MAST they got to see how valuable they are.

“One of our alumni is the chief engineer of the Sir David Attenborough, the polar research vessel. We have a boy who now has a master’s ticket and is traveling for the Dutch. We have many children and they have their own stories.

“We know that many of the children who stay on the ships are disadvantaged. Through what we do, people realize who they are and what their value is. We have an obligation to help them discover themselves so that they can become our leaders of tomorrow – that’s why we’re doing this.”

To find out more about MAST call 07801680514 or email [email protected]

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