Dive Project Cornwall, the scheme designed to teach 400 school students to scuba dive at Porthkerris this summer, has raised £180,000 towards the project since launching it last June – but says it remains £40,000 short of its target.
To make up the shortfall it has now launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the additional cash needed to realise the project.
Last year Dive Project Cornwall, a not-for-profit community-interest company, organised a national competition that involved contacting more than 4,000 schools across the UK. Of these, 259 responded positively to the prospect of their students being trained to scuba dive.
Sixty schools were short-listed, based on their construction of a marine creature from single-use plastics, and submission of a 500-word essay on the importance of ocean conservation. The 20 winning schools will be chosen from among these entrants, with each one sending 20 students to camp at the Porthkerris site and “take learning from the classroom to the beach”.
They will spend six days working towards their PADI Open Water Diver qualifications while also being taught about marine conservation, in the hope that they will become ocean influencers of the future.
Dive Project Cornwall reckons that through the schools competition it has already reached 300,000 young people with its message about the importance of marine protection.
The project has been affected by the cost-of-living crisis, says the company, though it remains hopeful that its final push will allow it to deliver the training without making any compromises. Find details of the project on its Crowdfunder page.