Sailing charity makes history with four-nation voyage

Greenock-based youth work charity, Ocean Youth Trust Scotland, is making history this week as an all-female crew of young people set sail on a voyage to visit all four nations in two weeks.

Twelve young women and girls aged between 16 and 25, from The Outdoor Partnership in Wales, are spending two weeks on board the Trust’s 72-foot boat, Alba Explorer. It’s the first time in the Trust’s history it has run an all-female voyage to visit all four nations. During the trip, the crew will be required to take charge of all aspects of sailing the boat, experiencing the practicalities and challenges of life on-board while learning the social skills required to work as a team to sail the vessel.

Having set sail on Tuesday [14 March], the challenging two-week voyage will see every young person on board learning to navigate and steer the boat, hoist and drop the sails, tie knots and cook for their crewmates.

The Outdoor Partnership is a charity based in Wales, which aims to boost people’s confidence, help them develop skills and team work to actively take advantage of new opportunities and reach positive destinations.

For more than 20 years, Greenock-based charity, Ocean Youth Trust Scotland, has grown to become one of the leading youth work charities in the world, taking to sea more than 750 young people every year. It supports disadvantaged young people, young carers, those with additional support needs, school groups, sailing clubs, care experienced young people and many others. During the pandemic the charity was unable to deliver its award-winning youth work voyages at sea, so this inaugural voyage is a poignant celebration of being back on the water.

Hazel Wiseman, General Manager of Ocean Youth Trust Scotland, commented: “This is the first time in the Trust’s history that we’ve had a voyage of this kind, specifically aimed at empowering women and girls and helping them realise their full potential.

“Led by all all-female staff, our intention is that everyone on board feels empowered by their peers and environment, in addition to learning practical and social skills that will stay with them for life.”

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