Ocean Youth Trust Scotland is a leading youth work charity that really sees the benefit of adventurous residentials in helping young people, aged 12-25, reach their potential whatever kind ofbackground they come from. As the name suggests, this is through sailing voyages that take them further afield to some exciting and often remote places experiencing the great outdoors and developing an understanding of their environment whilst improving their own physical and mental wellbeing.
"Over 700 young people from a diverse range of backgrounds sail with us each year for 5 or 7-days at a time. Working with groups and individuals, they support schools, young carers, youth groups, young people with additional support needs, sailing clubs and many more."
Every year OYT takes 12 ofthe most promising and talented young people on theYoung Leaders Development Voyage,a 2 week sailing challenge to circumnavigate Ireland. The Alpkit Foundation is really pleased to be able to help add a bit more support and Fiona Greer from OYT Scotland explains a little about why this trip is so important.
"This longer voyage helps to develop leadership skills, encourage personal development and highlighting the importance of contributing within a team and as part of their wider community. During this time they will learn vital skills in working as a team solving problems, planning actions, setting goals and reviewing processes. Each young participant will also gain an SQA Level 6 Leadership qualification."
PreviousYLDP have hadreal impact on the participants lives. Jamie (20) comments on his experience... "I really learnt to respect the volunteers who gave up their time to help us learn the ropes. I'd like to say a huge thanks to all volunteers. This has really inspired me to volunteer myself and give something back. In secondary school I was quite challenging, my behaviour wasn't the best. I wasn't very academic either because my behaviour got in the way. It was always a constant struggle. Trying to make new friends was a real dificulty because of my behaviour. So I was a little less confident about going on that boat and try and engage with 18 people"
Since sailing with OYT Scotland Jamie has gone on to train as a youth leader and studied community development at university. He is now well equipped to help others starting out on their own learning journey.