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Ocean Youth Trust Scotland's Young Carers at Sea

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Ocean Youth Trust Scotland’s Young Carers at Sea project gives hundreds of young carers aged 12-25 the chance to participate in sailing adventures every year. From January 2017-January 2020 it will have provided respite time to 270 young carers across Scotland, changing their lives in the process.

Ocean Youth Trust Scotland (OYT Scotland) is a charity that gives hundreds of young people aged from 12 to 25 the chance to participate in sailing adventures every year.

The Trust, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, is Scotland’s national youth work sailing charity. Voyages are organised for those at risk of poor educational outcomes, young carers, young leader programmes and participants on the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.

OYT Scotland’s Young Carers at Sea project is aimed specifically at helping young carers. Ten young people and two adult group leaders are on each residential five-day trip. The young carers help plan the voyages, and fully contribute to life on board, with duties including navigation, cooking, watch-keeping, and boat-handling; and so benefit enormously from feeling part of a team. The project started in January 2017 and will have provided respite for 270 young carers across Scotland by the time it ends in January 2020.

OYT Scotland CEO, Nick Fleming, says: “We believe that all young people regardless of circumstance or ability, should have the opportunity to realise their true potential in order for them to live healthy, fulfilling lives. A voyage with OYT Scotland can be a genuinely life-changing experience with unique learning opportunities.

“Most importantly our voyages provide time to develop new friendships and ‘just be kids’ for a week without worrying about home.”

One young carer recently said, “I’m not supposed to say this but when I was on the boat I completely forgot about home and that was a great feeling. When I came back I felt physically better and stress free. It was a magnificent feeling, it was amazing!"

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