Broaden Your Horizons
A chance for young people to develop their leadership skills, take part in more adventurous sailing, and to volunteer in the community and on our boats.
The Young Leader Development Programme harnesses the enthusiasm and talent of twelve past crewmembers. It provides further hard and soft-skills training and a Challenge Voyage during which they train to become Bosuns and Watch Leaders.
Afterwards, the YLDP participants will work with a local community group and apply their new life skills ashore. After graduating they will support hundreds more young people in their adventures under sail as Sea Staff abroad OYT Scotland vessels.
The Young Leaders Development Programme (YLDP) 2014 funded by the Big Lottery Fund Young Start Programme offered 12 young people a chance to develop their leadership skills, take part in more adventurous sailing, and to volunteer in the community and on our boats. The 12 month programme included Advanced Bosun Training and a challenging 14 day voyage from Norway to Greenock. The YLDP provided the young people with hard and soft-skills training and has helped them to build confidence, has increased their belief in their own abilities and made them more optimistic about the future.
Here are some insights from some previous YLDP participants:
Since taking part in the YLDP, Finn (16) has gone on to assist at Port Edgar sailing school in his holidays as a volunteer – leading towards his course at college next year in outdoor pursuits. His mother Sue comments “Prior to YLDP he didn’t really know what direction he would like to do after leaving school, the course has allowed him to see a new direction in life and a career!”. Finn explains “The YLDP has helped me to build up confidence because after the challenge I can now do things that I was not able to do before. For example I had not been away from home on such a long trip on my own – I now feel confident to do this again with people I haven’t met before. I learnt some leadership skills that I have been able to use at Port Edgar where I have been helping out with sailing and outward bound courses”.
Sophie (18) has gained employment as a direct result of taking part in the programme and gaining new qualifications, she notes “YLDP has definitely improved my job prospects – not only does it look great on my CV, I have landed a job with the Gordonstoun International Summer School and am working as a Mate aboard their yachts this summer. It has also helped me get a job working as a student ambassador with a travel company.”
Through OYT Scotland’s relationship with 29 Studios, a creative digital agency in Glasgow, the crew had a young leader on board who is also an apprentice film maker. Ellis (17) captured over 100 hours of footage and produced a suite of short films which can be viewed here. Ellis comments on his experience of YLDP “I went on the boat with little to no sailing experience and by the end of it I was leading various sail changes and other deck activities. It was amazing to see how quickly I picked up the skills. Emotionally my biggest change was that I now feel better about life, some of the things we saw truly were awesome and put everything into a lot more perspective. When I got home I stopped worrying about the little things as I knew there are more important things out there. The YLDP has definitely built my confidence too. Being thrown into a challenge like that with meeting lots of new people forces you to be confident in order to achieve what we set out to do.”
Jamie (20) comments on his experience “I really learnt to respect the volunteers who gave up their time to help us learn the ropes. I’d like to say a huge thanks to all volunteers but particularly Dave who is a Doctor from Loch Carron. Dave qualified as a First Aid Instructor before the voyage at his own expense so that he could teach us all the RYA First Aid Course. This has really inspired me to volunteer myself and give something back.” He tells us that “In secondary school I was quite challenging, my behaviour wasn’t the best. I wasn’t very academic either, because my behaviour got in the way. It was always a constant struggle. Trying to make new friends was a real difficulty because of my behaviour. So I was a little less confident about going on that boat and try and engage with 18 people.” Since sailing with OYT Scotland Jamie has gone on to train as a youth leader and started his community development degree at university. He is well equipped to help others starting out on their own learning journey.
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