CARE experienced young people are to be given the chance to spend a year at sea on an epic around the world adventure.

The scheme is the brainchild of Declan Cox, who entered the care system at the age of three and, now 22, is determined to change the life chances of others.

Now renowned skipper Nikki Henderson has been named as the ambassador for Declan's new charity Care To Sail.

Nikki, who sailed Greta Thunberg across the Atlantic last year and who was the youngest ever skipper to lead a team in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race, will mentor the 12 young people chosen for the round-the-world voyage.

She said: “Care To Sail is a fantastic and bold initiative and after talking with Declan, hearing his story and why he wanted to help young people and give them an opportunity they might not otherwise have, I knew I wanted to get involved.

“Sailing is a huge passion of mine and something I was fortunate to get involved with at a young age. Hopefully through the Care to Sail ambassador programme, we can help inspire a new generation of young sailors.

“A trip like this across the ocean and around the world builds character and creates bonds with the crew you spend your time with.

"It can be very challenging out there at sea, especially when the weather isn’t in your favour, but it can also be extremely rewarding and really help you prove to yourself just how resilient and resourceful you can be.”

Glasgow Times:

Care to Sail will work with a group of 12 young care experienced people aged 16 to 25 and train them to navigate and crew an ocean racing yacht with the aim of taking part in an epic 40,000 nautical mile Around the World Adventure, with the support of an experienced skipper and minimal crew.

The inaugural Care to Sail, global challenge is scheduled to set sail in March 2022.

The crew of youngsters will spend one year at sea and will visit countries including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and South America, linking up with other organisations which support young people in care around the world as they do so.

Nikki, 27, will be one of a team of experts who will lead and deliver training for these young people

Declan has previously told the Glasgow Times how his years in care left him suicidal until he discovered sailing.

He hopes that Care to Sail can provide young people who have also experienced life in the care system, with sail training and a chance to explore new places which will in turn have mental health benefits and equip them with skills for life.

Declan said: “Nikki is an inspirational role model and incredibly experienced sailor.

"We hope that her ambassadorship will have a major influence, inspiring and encouraging our young people and staff to engage with mentoring, as well as demonstrating obtainable goals and broadening their perspectives.

“At Care to Sail we believe that support and collaboration is essential.

"From my own experience, I know that young people in care don’t often have positive role models.

"We aim to build a structure of mentors, role models and ambassadors as a key element of the project.”

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