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Bob Footer


Offshore crew

Please tell us a bit about yourself

Now retired, I have pretty much spent my entire career working to support young people. I had the privilege of setting up from scratch, a new youth offending team (YOT) in 1999. A YOT no less, where the idea was to work to prevent youth crime by recruiting a multi-agency team to find and deliver interventions that would develop the young people and help them turn their lives around and make a positive contribution to their communities. The team was very diverse and made up of police officers, psychologists, teachers, probation, and health workers, all working together with the one clear aim.

Whenever possible, we used the latest evidence-based interventions and achieved some remarkable results, proof that the right kind of investment into young people can reap rich rewards. A story, of course, that lies at the heart of the work of Tall Ships Youth Trust.

Please tell us a bit about your role at Tall Ships Youth Trust

On retiring, I found a natural home with TSYT and over the past 13 years, I have sailed on many trips helping to young people and adults to realise their dreams, as well as realising a few of my own, including sailing across the Atlantic twice. Sailing round Great Britain and to Norway.

Currently I work as a Volunteer Mate on the Trust’s 55ft ketch, completing up to three trips a year, mainly involving teaching young people to sail.

What has been your most memorable moment at Tall Ships Youth Trust?

En route to the Azores beating into a storm with winds of 54 knots and 10 metre waves, with two young people on my watch with safety lines attached, we crawled towards the bow to recover the stay sail, huge waves breaking over us, automatic life jacket  going off and absolutely completely soaked but we achieved our aim and lived to tell the tale.

What is one thing you think people should know about Tall Ships Youth Trust?

At Tall Ships Youth Trust, we use sailing as a tool for young people to achieve so much more than new practical skills. Our voyages engage and motivate young people to make the best of their lives.

Please describe your job in three words

Challenging. Inspiring. Satisfying

If you were famous, what would you be famous for?

As Prime Minister, I would make a law to ensure that all young people were fully included as per their individual needs into their communities with access to excellent education, sports, leisure, social, work opportunities and family support. Young people’s wellbeing would be society’s number one priority on my watch.

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