MORE than 15 young people from Blackburn District Scouts have benefitted from a residential voyage along the South Coast with Tall Ships Youth Trust (TSYT) — a charity that provides young people with unique and challenging experiences at sea.
The trip was made possible thanks to funding from ELMC (East Lancashire Masonic Charity) and donations from members of the local United Reformed Churches.
In total 17 Guides, Scouts, Explorer Scouts and Network Scouts from the Blackburn and Ribble Valley area took part in the five-day adventure. The voyage took part onboard two of the youth charity’s 72ft Challenger yachts, famous for having raced twice round the world, as part of the Global Challenge races.
Throughout the week the young people and their leaders got involved in all aspects of sailing and crewing the boat from steering to food preparation, maintenance and cleaning. Importantly, they’re supported by TSYT’s professionally trained crew who work with the young people to increase their practical life skills as well as develop their personal and social skills.
Guide Leader, Neve McKenna (18), said: “I developed my leadership skills, which allowed me to help people who needed help or direction when they weren’t sure what to do. I also developed my teamwork skills – everyone has to dip in and do their bit with tasks such as cooking, washing up and cleaning.”
Cairon Berry, Blackburn District Explorer Scout Commissioner, added: “It was a fantastic experience for our young people and the leaders. We all had an amazing time and we’re extremely grateful to ELMC and the United Reformed Churches for their generous support.”
TSYT is the UK’s oldest and largest youth development sail training charity based in Portsmouth. The charity has a particular focus on working with young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and has been providing young people aged 12-25 from across the UK, with life-changing experiences at sea for 66 years.
Chas Cowell, Youth Development and Volunteer Manager at TSYT, said: “We’re delighted the young people had such a great time, they were a fantastic group and made Blackburn District Scouts proud.
“We believe all young people should have the opportunity to take part in a transformational voyage with us. Thanks to the generosity of the ELMC and the United Reformed Churches, this was made possible for these young people.
“As a charity we rely on funding from grant making bodies, individual donations and organisations to provide extra financial support via our bursary programme, to enable young people and groups who otherwise wouldn’t be able to experience a life-changing voyage with us.”
To find out more about TSYT’s youth development work and bursary programme.