Young adult carers set sail

Five young adult carers from East Dunbartonshire got on board Ocean Youth Trust Scotland (OYT) for a voyage to remember.

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Funded through the cashback for communities government programme, the group set sail recently to spend five days exploring the waters of the Upper Clyde, leaving from James Watt Dock in Greenock.

Fair winds and fine weather set the scene for the first-time sailors as they took on all the challenges of sailing the 72-foot yacht Alba Explorer.

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Whilst on board, they learned to navigate and steer the boat, hoist and drop the sails, tie knots and cook for the whole crew.

From the very beginning, the young people threw themselves into the experience and worked hard to achieve the goals they set themselves. One of the young sailors said: “I can now work better in a team and have the confidence to share my ideas.

“I can do so much more than I ever thought I could and the trip has made me grow.

“The voyage was worth every single second. It’s a life-changing experience. Everybody was very encouraging. It was great meeting new people.”

With future goals of learning to drive, getting a job, becoming an OYT Scotland volunteer and helping out at home, the confidence gained and lessons learned during the voyage will make a difference for everyone in the group.

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.

Also taking part in the voyage was young adult carers service co-ordinator, Janice McGregor.

Janice said: “Life is challenging for these Young Adult Carers and this trip has given them an opportunity to develop team building skills, enjoy time with their peers and just to have lots of fun.

“Watching them grow in confidence during the trip and bond as a group made all the hard work worthwhile.

“Thank you to the crew on board the Alba Explorer for their patience, teaching and entertainment skills which made this such a memorable trip.”