Last week saw two Cashback New Horizons voyages head out into a foggy Clyde. The groups from Drumchapel and Falkirk sailed nearly 200 miles between them with Drumchapel, on Alba Explorer, stopping off at Holy Loch, Lamlash and Portavadie before returning to Greenock and Falkirk, on Alba Venturer, visiting East Loch Tarbert and Holy Loch before their return to dock.
On their return to Greenock the group from Falkirk were joined onboard by Justice Secretary Michael Matheson who also happens to be their local MSP. The group gave the minister a tour of the boat, giving him some tips on making tea while tipped over when sailing to windward, chatting through the logbooks they completed while on their voyage, and sharing some of the goals they have set themselves post voyage.
Justice Secretary, Michael Matheson said: “Investing in our young people is always money well spent and I am delighted that the Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities programme is providing this valuable funding for worthy projects across Scotland.
“Scotland’s unique CashBack for Communities programme invests monies seized from criminals back into our communities. Since 2008, we’ve committed £75 million to community initiatives right across the country, improving lives and helping Scotland prosper.
“It was fantastic to see first-hand today the difference this programme is making to the young people involved and to hear what they have learned from the experience and how it will help them when they get back home. Their enthusiasm for the future was infectious and has only reinforced to me the significant value of the Cashback for Communities Programme.”
All of the young people threw themselves into the experience and worked hard to achieve the goals they set themselves both as a team and individually. They said:
“I learned to ask more questions and to ask for help when I needed it”
“For me the qualifications I get from this is massive. I left school with very little. A lot of people go into an interview and say I’m really good at communicating and working in teams and they’re not – but we’ve got the proof of it.”
“It makes you stand out from everyone, to be able to talk about this. It’s something completely different and everyone will be interested.”
Further funding for the Drumchapel voyage was provided by Glasgow Airport FlightPath Fund. This funding was established to ensure that local communities share in the success of Glasgow Airport with donations made to projects within close proximity of the airport.
“We are so thankful for the support from Glasgow Airport FlightPath Funding” said teacher Joe Wright who took part in the voyage. “Without this money the young people would not have been able to afford this life-changing experience.”
One crew member Robert spoke about his experience on board. “Being on this voyage improved my confidence in speaking, increased my determination to get things done, and made me take responsibility for myself and a job.”
(photo of Alba Venturer thanks to our friends @SaltireMarine)