Last week nine young people from the Inverclyde area took part in an Ocean Youth Trust Scotland (OYT Scotland) voyage. This trip was partially funded with money from the governmental programme “CashBack for Communities”, and from Inverclyde Council’s Community Learning & Development fund. Departing and returning into Greenock, the group set sail on 5th September for five days, clocking in 87 nautical miles.
Calling in at Holy Loch, Lochranza, Tarbert and Rhu, changeable weather set the scene as the sailors took on all the challenges of sailing the 70 ft yacht Alba Venturer. Whilst on board, they learned to navigate and steer the boat, hoist and drop the sails, tie knots and cook for the whole crew.
From the very beginning, the young people threw themselves into the experience and worked hard to achieve the goals they set themselves. They said:
“It was a great experience – I learned new skills, had good banter, and increased my confidence.”
“I was really eager to come out of my comfort zone and try new things whilst on board, and I got a shot at doing everything”
“I enjoyed sailing and I feel like I really connected with everyone on board”
“I loved working as part of a team to hoist the sails – it was great to be part of something”
With future goals of travelling the world, completing OYT Scotland’s Young Leaders Development Program, improving their mental health, and getting into University, college and the armed forces, the confidence gained and skills learned during the voyage will make a difference whatever the future holds in store for these young people.
Also taking part in the voyage was group leader Paul Ross. He had this to say about their voyage:
“Linking in with the Ocean Youth Trust has been instrumental in supporting the young people who access the Youth Work Services team to recognise the leadership qualities they possess as well as formalise these through their day to day workings on a boat. The group have demonstrated their ability to take on board new and taxing activities and work effectively to complete these in both an individual and team working capacity.
The young people have shown the eagerness to develop and number of softer skills including increased confidence, willingness to push themselves out with their comfort zone and also establishing routines around sleep patterns, cooking and also maintaining a pleasant working environment i.e. cleaning. These skills will without doubt enhance opportunities in the future and have already set aspirations for a number of them including progression into further education, employment and also undertaking other training with the Ocean Youth Trust.
It has been a pleasure to work with all staff members concerned with the Ocean Youth Trust in allowing young people to enhance their ability and achieve their potential and I hope to work again with the team in the future”
All members of the crew received the Royal Yachting Association’s Start Yachting Level 1 Award, and the SQA’s Level 3 Speaking and Listening qualification.
Adventure under sail for these Inverclyde young people would also not be possible without the amazing support of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery. Their generosity enabled us to replace all the sails and hardware of our flagship boat Alba Venturer. CEO of Ocean Youth Trust Scotland Nick Fleming explained: “A major award of £20,000 from The People’s Postcode Trust enabled us to undertake this vital refit of our worn out sails that are used intensively week in week out by new groups of young people. Not only have local Inverclyde teenagers benefited, disadvantaged young people from throughout Scotland have enjoyed stepping on board for the voyage of a lifetime.”
A massive thanks to the group leaders and volunteers who helped to make this voyage a success!