NINE Drumchapel youngsters took to the seas recently as part of an intensive sailing course.

The young people, from the G15 Youth Project, boarded the Alba Explorer – a 72-foot tall sail training yacht – at Greenock on May 1.

During the five-day voyage, they undertook all aspects of sailing including steering at the helm, rope, sail, and navigation work.

Clydebank Post: The youngsters were trained in all aspects of voyageThe youngsters were trained in all aspects of voyage (Image: Ocean Youth Trust Scotland)

The yacht travelled a total distance of 96 nautical miles, exploring the west coast of Scotland.

The youngsters were lucky enough to watch dolphins play at the side of the boat as they worked hard to transform their futures through hands-on skills development.

The trip – run by Ocean Youth Trust [OYT] Scotland - focused on changing the attitudes and behaviour of young people who are at risk of antisocial behaviour and offending as well as those who have been impacted by adverse childhood experiences and trauma.

Gillian McDiarmid, OYT Scotland’s youth development worker, said: “From the moment they stepped on board, this group of young people displayed a level of humility towards each other, and the staff, that was contagious.

“The week was spent looking after each other, cheering each other on and celebrating each other’s successes.”

Performing their various tasks required confidence, trust, and peer support something the young people “had in spades”.

When they weren’t actively sailing the group was eating, sleeping, and socialising in the close confines below deck.

It is hoped that this kind of environment helps young people develop strong support networks, while also demonstrating the importance of respect and responsibility in shared spaces.

One young person commented: “I feel very anti-social lately, so I want to overcome that.

"I want to make more friends and grow better connections with people."

The voyage not only offered the youngsters the chance to build on existing resilience and interpersonal skills but also to gain qualifications.

These include their SQA numeracy, SQA communication, and RYA start yachting.

The trip was the first of OYT Scotland’s 'On Board for Success' project which is funded by the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities scheme.

The project sees funds recovered from crime being redirected into youth work.