10 Midlothian young people returned from a testing five day sea voyage around the Clyde coast as part of the first CashBack sailing voyage.
The first of 48 voyages funded by CashBack for Communities set sail 4th May with 10 young people and 2 group leaders from Midlothian Community Learning & Development Team.
Ocean Youth Trust Scotland, Scotland’s leading Sail Training organisation, will deliver 48 voyages, providing 480 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds across Scotland the opportunity to take part in a 5-day long voyage in some of the world’s best sailing water.
During the voyage, the young people will have gained nationally accredited qualifications, and improved their communication and problem solving skills. One of the young people who took part in the voyage, Jodie L, said:
This has been an amazing experience for me. I feel so much more confident and mature. After the week on the boat, I feel there’s no problem I can’t handle.
Another young person to have competed the trip, Jodie H, added:
Completing this voyage with all its ups and down is better than anything I have ever done in my life. We all became like a family, the first family I have ever had! And the great thing is I will be taking these friendships with me off the boat. We have already exchanged numbers and will definitely stay in touch.
Nick Fleming, Chief Executive of OYT Scotland said:
Our voyages offer young people a truly unique and life changing opportunity. Over the course of a very intense week, living together in close proximity, they not only learn to sail, they learn leadership skills and how to work effectively as a team.
This first voyage has been a huge success. Our sea-staff, comprising both professionals and volunteers, understand how to get the best from each individual. This results in young people often being able to achieve things they never imagined they were capable of and changing their outlook on what the future could hold.
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.
This government is committed to ensuring young people reach their full potential. The vast majority of them are a credit to society but we want to prevent the small minority getting involved in crime or antisocial behaviour in the first place.
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 57 voyages with 569 young people in 2014