Edinburgh Young Carer’s Big Lottery Sail

Voyage number six for Ocean Youth Trust Scotland’s CORAL project has been a huge success. Nine young people from the Edinburgh Young Carers Group and their two group leaders spent five days sailing amongst the beautiful Islands of the west coast of Scotland.

The adventure began in Kyle of Lochalsh, where the young people were introduced to Alba Explorer- a 72ft long, 29ft tall yacht which they would be spending five days sailing on. Once their safety briefing was complete, the first time sailors set sail to start their 78 nautical mile round trip visiting the smooth sands of Red Bay in Torridon and Acarsaid Mhor (meaning “Hidden anchorage” in Gaelic) on the Isle of Rona. The weather was kind to the crew with good winds for their sails and plenty sunshine the whole week through.

Working the winch (2)

During their voyage the crew had an evening bonfire and barbeque on the beach. The young people had to forage for wood and also played exciting team games. There was a tense moment when Alba Explorer sailed under the Skye Bridge, only possible when the tide is low due to the height restrictions. Thankfully, OYT Scotland’s able volunteers knew exactly what they were doing and the whole crew and yacht sailed safely underneath much to the delight of the young carers.

In amongst the sailing and excursions on the Islands, all of the crew found time to work towards their RYA start yachting certificate- proof of their hard work and effort.

The CORAL (Carers on Residential Adventurous Learning) project, is partially funded by the Big Lottery’s “Medium Grants for Improving Lives” award. OYT Scotland is working in partnership with the Carers Trust and their extended network, The Scottish Young Carers Services Alliance to deliver these voyages.

Bonfire on the beach (3)

Nick Fleming, Chief Executive of OYT Scotland said: “We have had the opportunity to work with young carer groups as part our “CashBack for Communities” funding previously and we realised that there was a need for a specific project for these deserving young people. We are over the moon that the Big Lottery agreed to help fund nine young carers groups from across Scotland. These voyages give them a chance to spend time with other young carers and get some respite from their caring duties.”

Over the past 50 years, Greenock-based OYT Scotland has grown to become one of the leading sail training charities in the world. With two sail training vessels, Alba Explorer and Alba Venturer, OYT Scotland completed 55 voyages with 552 young people in 2016 alone.


For more information about OYT Scotland go to www.oytscotland.org.uk/main-site/

For more information about Edinburgh Young Carers go to www.youngcarers.org.uk

For more information on the Big Lottery’s Medium Grants for Improving Lives scheme go to


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