My name is Alison, I am a supervising social worker in Capstone North. I wanted to introduce foster carers and young people to the Tall Ships Youth Trust. This charitable organisation is close to my heart and as a volunteer I have undertaken 13 voyages to date, on board the Stavros S Niarchos, a 200ft Brig.
In 2006 I organised a voyage for three looked after young people whom I worked with, two young men and a young woman. They had never sailed before and the voyage gave them invaluable experience, both socially and educationally. We sailed from Lisbon to Cadiz then onto Gibraltar, a total distance of 423 nautical miles. To add to the excitement, whilst in Cadiz the young people were involved in an on shore Tall Ships parade involving ships crews from all over Europe.
The three young people became part of the voyage crew, which consisted of 44 young people, aged between 16 and 25 years old. I supported the young woman to overcome her fear of heights and climb to the royals, at 120 feet. A major achievement and no doubt a memory she will treasure throughout her life. I recently met her by chance in a train station (now in her 30’s) she turned to her boyfriend and said, “this is the lady who took me on that big ship”. In my volunteer role as youth mentor, I have felt privileged to work alongside young people from many different backgrounds
A note from my tall ship diary: “ This has been a fantastic voyage. The spectacular night sky with stars so bright and vibrant, along with beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Not to mention the sight of dolphins, playfully crossing the ships bow. This truly is nature at its best”
For more information visit the website: tallships.org or email: firstname.lastname@example.org