A group of students from Helston Community College recently embarked on a life-changing trip to Brittany, France, to join 120 secondary school students from 5 different European countries as part of the Atlantic Youth European project. The project is coordinated by Cornwall Marine Academy, a subsidiary company of Cornwall Marine Network.
During the trip, students visited shipyards, an aquarium and went aboard an emergency tow vessel where they met the captain and crew members who shared their experiences and answered student’s questions about their jobs.
The Helston students took part in ‘European Sea Classes’, including sailing, kayaking, fishing, orienteering and informed students of coastal environmental issues.
Siobhan Barnes, Head of Progress Year 10 at Helston Community College, said: “This whole event was positive, exciting and a fantastic opportunity. I hope the students will remember this for a very long time and realise how lucky there were to take part”.
Paul Wickes, CEO at CMN, explained, “The Atlantic Youth project gives Cornish students an excellent opportunity to work with local marine businesses and our partner regions and employers across Europe to ensure a growing number of them are more aware of the marine environment as a resource to protect and enjoy and as an exciting career path with a very wide range of job opportunities. They also gain life experience and confidence as well as having their horizons increased”.
Funded by Erasmus +, an EU fund, Atlantic Youth is a 3-year project coordinated by Cornwall Marine Academy to support schools in Cornwall to work with partners in France, Portugal, Spain and Ireland to provide access overseas to Year 7 to Year 10 pupils in inspirational activities including marine conservation tours; industry visits, career discussions with employers; water sports participation, teambuilding and confidence building.
Cornwall Marine Academy was created to engage volunteer marine ambassadors from local businesses to provide careers advice and vocational work experiences for young people at Cornwall schools. The Atlantic Youth project also includes an eight-week programme of classroom-based information sessions, site visits to local marine business premises and outdoor activities. Local marine organisations who participated in the programme included the RNLI, Global Boarders, Truro and Penryn Harbour, 3D Kernow, Mylor Yacht Harbour, Cornwall Seal Group and Stithians Lake and this years’ local sessions, all with a different approach, included the issue of marine pollution.
The Atlantic Youth project will continue to roll out over the academic year across the five countries with next year’s transnational trip for the young participants already scheduled in Portugal.