The Blackford Trust - Investing in Talent in Scotland and China

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Tall Ships Youth Trust

Our support

We have provided support to the Tall Ships Youth Trust, to allow ten young people from Perth & Kinross to go on a sail training voyage. This project is in co-operation with Perth & Kinross Community Youth Learning Services.

Background to our partner (see also here)

The Tall Ships Youth Trust, formerly The Sail Training Association, is a registered charity founded in 1956 that is dedicated to the personal development of young people through the crewing of ocean going sail training vessels.

Photos courtesy of Tall Ships Youth Trust

The young people from Perth & Kinross who have benefited from this voyage were aged 16-24 and were not in education, employment or training (NEET). They were be participants in the council's “Walking Tall” project, which is a six month intervention programme covering fundamental life skills such as communication, team work, problem solving and preparation for work.

Outcomes and lessons

The voyage took place in spring 2016. The ten young people who took part found their time very challenging as they were taken completely out of their comfort zone. However, through the teamwork of crewing an ocean-going vessel, they gained many skills relevant to everyday life, and their self-esteem and confidence grew.

Kate (19) said, “I knew this was a one in a lifetime opportunity but I found the first few days hard as I didn't have much confidence and struggled to make friends. In the end though, I learnt a lot. I was even given an award for 'most improved crew member !' It really helped with my self-esteem and social skills”.

Stuart (18) said, “since the age of 16 I have been no stranger to the police. I just couldn't control my temper and kept getting into fights...the voyage was hard work, morning, noon and night. But I started to realise that the more effort I put in, the more rewards I got out. This made me decide that when I got back I'd try harder to overcome my anger. I haven't been in trouble since”.

One of the TSYT crew said of Patrick (16), “he developed into a mature member of the crew. He has a friendly and caring approach and his true potential really shone. Despite dealing with his own difficulties, he persevered with his duties, motivating his team and pushing himself personally too”.

Photos from the voyage, courtesy of Tall Ships Youth Trust

Lisa, a teacher supporting the group, said, “when the young people returned to school, the change in the young people was unbelievable. Their challenging behaviour had transformed into a positive approach and commitment to work. We would definitely like to repeat this experience with other pupils”.

As Matthew, a senior youth worker supporting the group, concluded, “the young people we chose to go on the voyage were out of work and were really struggling...on board they quickly learned that nothing happens unless you work hard as team. The great thing about the voyage was that they had nowhere to hide – they had to pull their weight and deal with any issues that arose in a mature way....a few months after the voyage and all of them have gone into employment or education. This speed of change is unheard of !”

All the young people and others involved with this voyage are to be congratulated for their hard work and success.

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This page was last updated on 18 July 2016.




A charity formerly registered in Scotland, no. SC039658

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