Nine participants from North Ayrshire Council were given the opportunity to take part in an Ocean Youth Trust Scotland voyage funded with money from CashBack for Communities. The group set sail on 15th June to spend 5 days exploring the waters of the Upper Clyde, departing and returning into James Watt Dock in Greenock.
Whilst on board, the group found themselves fully responsible for sailing the 72ft yacht, Alba Explorer, including all the elements of day to day life on board the yacht, including cleaning and cooking.
While reflecting, the young people expressed vividly the impact this experience has had on their lives. This is a sample of their statements:
“I want to get my life on track. I have learnt motivation, self-belief and responsibility”
“I have decided to finish my college course and hope to get a job. I have learnt how to work as a team and be resilient.”
“I learnt that I can do work when I put my mind to it.”
“I hope to become a volunteer”
“I’m keen to get an apprenticeship in electrical engineering”
Ross Muir, Senior Youth Worker on board said, “This voyage was a once-in-a-lifetime experience for all of the young people who took part. For me as a youth worker, I got to see my young people in a different light; taking part in many domestic chores, living and working with other young people whom they hadn’t met before, working as a team to keep the boat moving and the crew fed. I felt that my group learned loads about themselves and each other, as well as learning many things about navigation, teamwork, communication, sailing skills and living with others in such an enclosed environment. These experiences will certainly help to engage the young people in future group activities and make group dynamics stronger. The feedback from my group has been 100% positive and they keep asking if there is going to be another trip soon!”.
All members of the crew received the Royal Yachting Association’s Start Yachting Level 1 Award, the SQA’s Level 3 Speaking and Listening qualification. Several of the young people have also put themselves forward to be Ocean Youth Trust Scotland volunteers and are looking forward to taking part in training to be staff members on future voyages.