A Cornwall-based project is engaging schools up and down the country to offer teenagers the opportunity of a lifetime – and spreading the message about the critical importance of the health of our oceans.

Thanks to Dive Project Cornwall, hundreds of thousands of young people have taken part in the education programme to raise the awareness of the importance of the planet’s marine environment and its vital role in our very own existence.

At the heart of Dive Project Cornwall is a competition for 400 teenagers to win a six-day trip to Cornwall where they will receive open water diving training, enjoy outdoor adventures, take up beach-related activities and attend presentations from leading marine industry experts.

The aim is for these teenagers to become open water diving qualified and Dive Project Cornwall ocean influencers who positively engage, inspire and motivate the next generation to save our planet.

To date, around 300,000 students have engaged in the programme and Dive Project Cornwall has teamed up with South West Water, whose funding will help ensure young people across the region and around the UK continue to benefit from this experience.

Dive Project Cornwall’s Andy Forster said: “We are delighted to be working with South West Water and are very grateful for the funding they are providing to help deliver our vision to positively engage, inspire and motivate the next generation to save our planet.

“Through their own appreciate of the wonders of the marine environment we will inspire thought as to how we will look after our beaches and oceans and preserve them for future generations to enjoy.”

Vicky Garner, South West Water’s partnership and community coordinator, said: “Supporting Dive Project Cornwall’s work to educate and inspire teenagers through immersing themselves in our beautiful underwater world fits beautifully with our continuing work to maintain 100 per cent bathing water quality across our 860 miles of coastline.” 

Schools have praised the scheme.

Ed McGuffie, deputy head of Sir James Smith School, Camelford, said: “Since returning from Porthkerris, many of our students have since signed up to complete the Duke of Edinburgh’s award. These are pupils that would never have considered completing such a challenge. 

“The experience of Dive Project Cornwall has given these pupils the confidence to go on and achieve things that would previously have been unimaginable.”