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On Board with CashBack

25th May 2023
Group of young people smiling

Nine young people set sail for five days as part of their On Board with CashBack programme.

The young people from G15 Youth Project in Drumchapel stayed on board 72-foot sail training yacht, Alba Explorer, for five days of intensive sailing with Ocean Youth Trust Scotland.

The young people undertook all aspects of the voyage, from steering at the helm to rope, sail and navigation work. Performing these tasks demanded confidence, trust and peer support, which the young people have in abundance. OYT Scotland’s Youth Development Worker, Gillian McDiarmid, commented on the experience:

“From the moment they stepped on board, this group of young people displayed a level of humility towards each other, and the staff, that was contagious. The week was spent looking after each other, cheering each other on and celebrating each other’s successes.”

When the group were not actively sailing, they were eating, sleeping and socialising in close confines below-deck. This environment helps young people develop strong support networks whilst demonstrating the importance of respect and responsibility in shared spaces. For one young person, this was an important part of achieving her goal:

“I feel very anti-social lately, so I want to overcome that. I want to make more friends and grown better connections with people.”

Beyond building resilience and interpersonal skills, this voyage also offered young people the opportunity to gain qualifications such as their SQA Numeracy, SQA Communication and RYA Start Yachting. This voyage was the first for OYT Scotland’s On Board for CashBack. This project will see the funds recovered from crime redirected into youth work, with OYT Scotland supporting a minimum of 248 young people from across Scotland over a three-year period. On Board with CashBack offers a person-centred approach to explore risk taking behaviours on land and at sea whilst developing confidence, resilience, and teamwork along with a personal and social skills. Using sailing as the primary youth work tool, OYT Scotland aim to support young people towards positive outcomes through education, empowerment, valuable support networks and resilience-building experiences.

The young people had great fun on the sail, making life-long memories. The group sailed a total of 96 nautical miles and visited Greenock, Holy Loch, Rothesay, Loch Riddon, Portavadie and Rhu.

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