Scientists teach underprivileged kids in police chief challenge

This week young people from across the north west are sailing on the trip of a lifetime for the Chief Constable’s Challenge yacht race.

Youngsters from disadvantaged backgrounds take part in all aspects of sailing, from cooking and cleaning to setting the sails and taking the helm of an ocean-going racing yacht.

And supporting their experience are scientists from the School of Biological and Environmental Sciences who are showing them how polluted the marine environment is becoming.

“We’ve shown them how to take seawater from the harbours they stop in and filter it and count the fibres under a basic microscope,” explained Dr Kostas Kiriakoulakis, subject leader in geography and environmental sciences.

“It’s something topical they can engage with, so we’ve trained them up and provided the equipment for a ‘mobile lab’.”

Community values

The Merseyside Chief Constable Challenge, a yacht race for youths (13-16 yrs), is the brainchild of Serena Kennedy and run in partnership with Tall Ships Youth Trust Merseyside.

“Merseyside Police contacted us and myself and Jon Dick were more than happy to help. It’s really an opportunity to show the core values of this institution.”

The Merseyside vessel’s trip will be funded using money taken from the hands of criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act, through Merseyside Police’s Community Cashback Fund.


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