Nine participants from North Lanarkshire 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 a five day voyage last week departing and returning into Oban. 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:
“Taking part in the voyage has made me so much more confident and relaxed.”
“Well worth the time and effort”
“Best experience of my life”
“To come on the boat for a week was a big deal for me, I am proud of myself for doing it and sticking it out till the end – now I’m sad to be going home!”
“Greatest trip ever”
“Loved every minute of it”
“It was amazing to see how we all worked together and everyone managed to get along.”
Deborah King, Group Leader on board said, “It was absolutely brilliant to see the young people have an amazing experience and grow in confidence and improve their self-esteem in various aspects, such as speaking in front of strangers, taking on roles and responsibilities, enjoying the views and appreciating the islands that we were fortunate enough to visit. They all learnt so much including developing the ability to laugh at themselves, taking and giving instruction, working as a team, showing initiative and having a valuable life enhancing experience with people who they have just met; and to appreciate what is on their door step. Such an amazing experience for the group who would never usually get to have these opportunities. Staff were awesome and a credit to OYT Scotland for delivering this voyage so brilliantly!”
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.