Here at St Bede's and St Joseph's Catholic College we are very privileged to work with The Heritage Lottery Fund and Maybe Sailing. Over the past 2 years we have been able to take many students on an adventure of a life time aboard the Tall Ship Maybe.
Sailing is about much more than learning to sail it is about helping young people to discover things about themselves. It is an adventure and the experience can inspire young people, whatever their background, expanding their horizons and motivating them towards new goals. For many it is a rewarding and exciting opportunity to get away from it all.
The culture and heritage of our Maritime industries and occupations, both military and civilian reinforces the foundations of who we are today. This Heritage Lottery Fund project has opened the minds of our students, from the perspective of our Maritime Military Heritage. To contemporary North Sea and Irish Sea Wind Farms and Oil Rigs, national and local fishing industries and those connected with sailing and navigating our shores.
This Heritage Funded project, supported by Maybe Sailing has allowed land-locked young people from inner-city Bradford to engage in what to them was an alien environment. Overcoming their personal fears of water, they have experienced adventure on the ocean waves. Their horizons suddenly extended beyond the shores of these islands perched on the western seaboard of Europe. For our sailing crew students this new, exciting and challenging Maritime Heritage opportunity has become ‘the spice of their life’.
In an age of sound-bites, snap-chats and instagrams, understanding and valuing our British Maritime Heritage will give the next generation of students at St Bede’s and St Joseph’s a crucial advantage as they progress. Because, through their own efforts and initiative they now know that they can succeed in a challenging and demanding environment. All the students had loads of fun becoming involved in Heritage education. All the teachers that were involved recognize that it is the smart way to develop today’s curriculum. This enables every child, from every culture, to take part in an inclusive and truly ‘life-changing-experience.’
This has had an enriching effect on St Bede’s and St Joseph’s students and has led to them educating their families in maritime heritage. It has also led to one student pursuing a career through university in Adventurous Outdoor Activities. With an aspiration to progress from Cadet Officer, to Substantive Officer in the Royal Navy, on graduation from the University of Liverpool. In the interim, this student is actively pursuing his new found interests in all things heritage and maritime on the high seas, in no small part due to the generous grant and support provided by the Heritage Lottery Fund.
At St Bede’s and St Joseph’s Catholic College and in St Benedict’s Sixth Form, we firmly believe that our British maritime heritage should be supported for the future and actively encouraged as part of the whole school curriculum, so that everyone can have the chance to explore, protect and experience ‘Ships in Full Sail’.
Without the Heritage Lottery Fund and Maybe Sailing – this project could not have been possible.
Our heartfelt thanks at St Bede’s and St Joseph’s is extended to everyone at The Heritage Lottery Fund and Maybe Sailing for everything they did to make this amazing opportunity happen for our students.