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At the start of March, we brought together our group of teenagers once more for the final day of the Cross Your Own Oceans project. [Click here to read the launch blog]

We met mid-morning near Waterloo station, to kick off our adventure day with a ride on the London Eye. Fortunately the rain held off, and we were able to fully enjoy the beautiful sights of London. It was during this ride that sailor hats were distributed for everyone to wear. Not only did these hats tie in with the nautical theme of the project, they served a practical purpose of pinpointing everyone in the thick London crowds.

Going around on the Eye was already enough of an adventure for some of our group who have a fear of heights. Once back on solid ground, we paused to eat a delicious lunch and decorate our hats. Some attempts were made to make the hats more ‘stylish’, while others embraced the spirit of the hats and covered them with drawings of fish and the London Eye.

Following lunch, we completed the second half of our adventure with a trip around the London Aquarium. There was some hesitation entering the Aquarium however, as it involved walking on a glass walkways with sharks swimming underneath. Once inside, the fear passed and turned into fascination with the diverse sea life displayed.

We then taxied to WorkSpace to hear a presentation from Sophie Ainsworth from GenerationR. Sophie shared her story living with an invisible condition, and the challenges she faced going through school. Much of what she said resonated with our group, all of whom have faced the difficulties of ‘not looking ill’. Sophie also introduced a new project she is working on to raise awareness of invisible illnesses within school. You can find out more about her project here.

To close the day, we revealed the superhero designs our graphic designer had created, following our group discussions in February. Both designs incorporated the group’s ideas, and the final one chosen is shown here. Our superhero brings joy, understanding, and good health to all they encounter. They can also convert contaminated water into safe drinking water (linking to the nautical theme of the project).

We would like to thank Sophie Ainsworth for her presentation (and her mum for making the trip), Elin Haf Davies for her support on the project, WorkSpace for providing pro bono space once again, all of the young people and their parents for participating, and BBC Children in Need for funding the project.

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