OYT Scotland - Perth Young Carers step aboard Alba Explorer

On 6th of August 2018, ten young carers and two group leaders from Perth set off on the adventure of a lifetime thanks to support from The Basil Death Trust. Despite the weather being a little chilly, the sun shone and the group showed their resilience and kept smiling all work as they explored the waters of the upper Clyde.

Setting sail from James Watt Dock in Greenock, the group worked together as a team to sail the 72ft yacht Alba Explorer 98 nautical miles visiting Holy Loch, East Loch Tarbert, and Brodick before heading back to Greenock at the end of the five days.

The young crew got stuck in to all elements of sailing the vessel, from cooking for the crew of 18 and cleaning the boat each morning, to taking charge of helming, doing the navigation and hoisting the sails.

However it wasn’t all hard work as they got the chance to go ashore to explore Tarbert and evenings were spent playing games and telling stories, they even hosted some boat karaoke whilst scrubbing the deck and a Great Boat Bake Off competition!

The voyage was an opportunity for the young carers to have respite from their caring responsibilities at home. For five days they could concentrate on their own needs rather than taking the backseat to focus on who they care for. By sailing with other young carers, the boat became a space to talk to other young people with shared experiences and home situations.

When asked, the young people said their best bits included:

“Getting to know new people and got to know my friends better”

“Seeing people work together and learning new skills”

“Getting out of the house and being on the water for a few days”

“Good social experience, you get to know other people and work together”

One young carer summed up the voyage, saying simply “it was the experience of a lifetime.”

On behalf of the young people, volunteers, and staff at OYT Scotland, a huge thank you to the Trustees for helping to support this voyage.

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The Basil Death Trust supports charities and projects with a principal focus on Education in Highland Perthshire, The Roman Catholic Church and Relief of those in need with particular emphasis on the British Armed Forces.

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