TWENTY youngsters will set sail on a four-night adventure voyage from Harwich to Portsmouth, thanks to support from the Mayflower Legacy Fund set up by mayor Ivan Henderson and other organisations.

The young people, made up of 15 boys and five girls aged 12 to 15, were chosen to go on the trip from three organisations in Harwich Home Start, Teen Talk Harwich and Harwich and Dovercourt High School.

The idea for the trip came from Mr Henderson in preparation for his 2021 mayoral year and to mark the 400th anniversary sailing of the Mayflower from Harwich to Portsmouth.

Due to delays and restrictions caused by the Covid pandemic his Mayoral Year has been extended for a further year to enable projects like this to come to fruition.

Mr Henderson said: “I wanted the fund to have a link to the ongoing maritime history of Harwich and importantly, to build up over time and create a legacy that supports and benefits local people for years to come.

“As part of this, I’m delighted that we’ve been able to give 20 young people a residential sailing opportunity, which otherwise they wouldn’t have had."

Onboard the Challenger yachts, the young people will get involved in all aspects of sailing and crewing the boats.

From start to finish they’ll be doing everything from steering to food preparation, maintenance and cleaning.

They will be supported by Tall Ship Youth Trust’s professionally trained crew who work with young people to increase their practical life skills as well as develop their personal and social skills.

Chas Cowell, Youth and Development Manager at Tall Ship Youth Trust, said: “We are really excited to welcome the young people onboard especially after the setbacks caused by the pandemic, which have exacerbated some of the difficulties many were already facing and now need extra support for.”

As well as the Mayflower Leqacy Fund, the project is being supported by the Milsom Charitable Fund and the Minter Family Fund, both managed by Essex Community Foundation, Galloper Wind Farm, The Alma Inn and Harwich Haven Authority and Harwich Connexions.

The young people and their four youth workers will depart from Harwich’s Ha’Penny Pier on Tuesday, August 9.