Kids Who Sail Close to the Wind, Change Direction

The group of ten youngsters learned diving, first aid and basic sailing onboard the Glaciere, moored at the Liverpool Marina.

The brainchild of Liverpool's Dave Murray - the Glaciere project teaches disadvantaged youngsters the basics of sailing, in a bid to motivate, inspire, and keep them on the straight and narrow.

Riverside Housing gave £4,000 towards the five-week course as part of its mission to reduce anti-social behaviour in its neighbourhoods.  The police provided £1000 funding and St Helens Neighbourhood Action group paid for transport.

Tanya Marsh, Riverside's community initiatives officer said:  "We worked with the police to identify a group from St Helens that would most benefit from the experience.  The teamwork and discipline needed for sailing helps to turn young people's lives around.  Some kids go on to take up further sailing courses and even become volunteers at the Glaciere project or other sailing initiatives."

The Glaciere project was recently featured as part of an ITV documentary.  Dave Murray resurrected the sail ship from the bottom of the River Mersey five years ago to bring it back to its former glory.  Now restored, it plays host to young people from across the region and its story is used as a metaphor for repairing wrecked lives.

Mark Whitehead works closely with the youngsters as a daily volunteer on the ship.  Mark started his nautical career on a similar course to the ones he now teaches. "I've seen many kids and adults change their lives through their introduction to sailing," said Mark.  "One of our novice sailors had an alcohol dependency problem but his love for diving inspired him to give up the booze to take his diving to another level."