Eight participants from the City of Edinburgh 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 31st August to spend 5 days exploring the waters of the Upper Clyde, departing and returning into James Watt Dock in Greenock.
The group was made up of young people from Craigroyston Community High School and Castlebrae Community High School. The group from Craigroyston were particularly looking forward to their voyage after 3 of them recently completing the build of their coastal rowing skiff with Muirhouse Youth Development Group!
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 from cleaning and cooking to hoisting and dropping sails on the foredeck.
Speaking to a very excited group at the end of the voyage, this is what they had to say:
“This trip will change lots of people’s lives, especially the people who thought they had nothing after school.”
“An enriched week full of beautiful moments and memories. Life changing and unforgettable.”
“I learned something new every day.”
“I learned so many things, some great ideas we can use with our skiff and confidence in myself and in meeting new people.”
Richard Haig, OYTS First Mate on board said, “It was amazing to see the change in the young people from the start of the week to the end. One of the girls in particular was so quiet at the start of the week. But, by the end I watched her grab a full sail bag from the pontoon and throw it over the guard rail onto the deck saying, “I’m stronger than I look!” A real show of the confidence she had gained over the week.“
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. All of the young people have also put themselves forward to be Ocean Youth Trust Scotland volunteers and have asked to be put forward for our Young Leaders Development Programme.