Teenagers set sail for the high seas

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Prolific at docks in Liverpool

A sailboat in bay at the Albert Dock is offering troubled youths the chance to break free from their old ways and set out on the open sea for a fresh start.

Prolific has used Liverpool as a port since its team finished the Dublin Tall Ships Race.

It is currently preparing for a bigger journey, as it will be setting out towards La Gomera on the coast of Africa on the 4th of November with a crew of young people who are struggling to find their way in the world.

Prolific manager Alf Sevild told JMU Journalism: “This is an alternative for youths that are too restless to sit in a classroom all day.

“We want them to gain confidence through hard work, as some of these are doing next to nothing on a daily basis.”

Sevild explains that the goal is that the trainees will experience the joy and a sense of community by mastering challenges together, as many of the youths are missing out on this due to a large amount of them having dropped out from school.

The ship is originally from Stavanger in Norway and is mainly financed through sponsors from its hometown.

Sevild added: “We are lucky to come from such a strong financial city.

“As project manager I spend most of my time gathering economical support for the project, as the youths we want to reach out to normally don’t have the financial capacity to finance this themselves.”

Captain of the 26-metre long vessel Chris Rose, along with Jim Grave, who is responsible for the financial aspect for British youths, are the British representatives in the project.

“Unfortunately we are obliged to spend the funds we gather in Norway on local youths, so we are urging businesses in Liverpool to participate and give some of Merseyside’s troubled youth a chance be a part of this,” added Alf.

“The ship functions as a small community where the learning environment is based on confidence, warmth and care from the regular crew and other trainees.

“We have managed to sneak in bits of school in the daily life of the ship, such as geography, math and science which are all important factors when you are travelling out on the sea.”

No previous sailing experience is required and there are instructors for trainees to learn skills such as being a helmsman, lookout, safety and active sail manoeuvres.




About Eivind Haugstad-Kleiven, JMU Journalism