Life on the ocean wave

6th May 2011 at 01:00
A voyage of young sailors to the Faroe Islands will teach them leadership skills for both sea and land. Julia Belgutay reports

Twelve young Scots will be setting sail for the Faroe Islands in August for Ocean Youth Trust Scotland's annual off-shore challenge.

The 12 young sailors, aged 15 to 18, will leave Inverness aboard the Alba Explorer, a 72-foot steel-hulled Challenge yacht, to make the voyage to the Faroes. They will arrive in Oban around a week later, having sailed about 1,000 miles. The journey is expected to take about three days each way.

The voyage is part of a 12 to 18-month programme to teach them leadership skills for their life on the boat and on land. The youngsters were invited to apply after showing enthusiasm and talent when sailing with the trust.

Helen McMeekin, fundraising officer at the Ocean Youth Trust Scotland, said: "The young leaders development programme is specifically designed to bring on the leadership skills of the 12 young people who take part each year, and out of that we are hoping that they will stay with the organisation and become young watch leaders and so pass on their skills to other young people."

On the journey, they will be accompanied by an adult crew, but will learn to manage their "watch" or team.

"Hopefully, what they will be getting from it is further personal development that will stand them in good stead for life on land," Ms McMeekin said.

More than 800 young people sailed with the trust last year. While some came as individuals and with financial support from parents, many came in groups sent by schools and youth clubs, or were referred by social work departments.

The 12 chosen to take part in the voyage, sponsored by Braehead, will have to raise pound;500 each to contribute to the programme.


A new leaf


l Activity agreements, signed between a young person and an adviser after agreeing a programme of learning and support, are to be introduced throughout Scotland. The news, announced by the outgoing Scottish Government, follows a successful trial over the past two years that has seen hundreds of vulnerable young people turn their lives around and return to learning or find jobs.

Top brass


l Secondary pupils in the Carnoustie and District Youth Brass Band are celebrating after winning the premier section of the National Youth Brass Band Championships. The band's victory was won at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester last month.

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