Unemployed youngsters feel right at home on the barge

Maldon and Burnham Standard: Luke Last with Paul Jeffries, the owner of Topsail Charters Luke Last with Paul Jeffries, the owner of Topsail Charters

They may feel all at sea when they arrive, but thanks to a one charity, unemployed youngsters can quickly learn life skills on board a barge.

Topsail Charters, based in the Hythe Quay, Maldon, are offering dedicated programmes to those struggling to find work, in turn removing the barriers to employment.

In the first four-week ‘Change Direction’ course, led by youth charity UKSA and funded by Job Centre Plus, 19-year-old Luke Last has begun preparing for work through maritime and watersport activities.

This week, Luke, who has not had a job for two years, has assisted with the new sailing season by painting the barges and helping with general rigging maintenance.

See this week's Standard for the full story.

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