Featured Member - Ocean Youth Trust Ireland

3 Dec 2013 Shauna O'Neill    Last updated: 4 Jul 2019

Ocean Youth Trust Ireland is a charity dedicated to giving young people from all walks of life a chance to experience sail training.

"The key element of this mission is to build social capital and use boat based learning to expose young people to adventure, develop core skills and increase a sense of community."

Established in 1960 by Chris Courtauld and the late Chris Ellis, the Ocean Youth Club has since taken well over 100,000 young people to sea.  The Club was born out of the commitment and enthusiasm of Chris Courtauld and Chris Ellis, who loaned the original vessels, Theodora and Duet.

In the year 2000, the Ocean Youth Club name to Ocean Youth Trust and operated as four separate regional Ocean Youth Trust charities.  The four charities are Ocean Youth Trust Ireland, Ocean Youth Trust North, Ocean Youth Trust Scotland and Ocean Youth Trust South.

Ocean Youth Trust Ireland owns and operates a Community Boat Fleet that was funded by Sport Northern Ireland with funding also provided by Belfast City Council and Youth Council Northern Ireland.  Our fleet is based in three locations Belfast, Derry~Londonderry and Castlewellan in Co Down however our fleet can be moved to any location bringing sail training opportunities to both urban and rural locations right across Ireland.

The Trust also work in partnership with the Loughs Agency in Derry~Londonderry to develop sailing skills to local communities with the objective of bringing opportunities for employment and health and well-being while opening up access to life on the River Foyle.

In 2013 Ocean Youth Trust Ireland secured funding from the Loughs Agency and match funding from Foyle Port to purchase a mixed ability dinghy for the Foyle and Carlingford Waters.  They are looking forward to working in partnership with Foyle Sailability to bring sailing to a new level in 2014 that will bring new and exciting opportunities for everyone regardless of ability.

Sail Training OYTI Style is a youth centred organisation at whose heart is experiential learning. They do not simply take young people on a boat trip but bring them on a journey of discovery about themselves, their environment and ultimately help them find their place in society.  They use boat based learning to deliver personal development programmes to a wide range of trainees.

Ocean Youth Trust Ireland works with young people and families from communities across Ireland offering a range of sail based programmes from taster sailing sessions to RYA Qualifications and Adventure Sail Camp. The Trust also allocate annual bursaries towards Tall Ship voyages that enable young people to take part in Tall Ship Races.

Ocean Youth Trust Ireland uses Boat Based Learning as a tool to encourage trainees, staff and volunteers to:

LEARN:  More about themselves
DEVELOP:  Team working skills - Problem Solving, Leadership & Communication
ACHIEVE:  Set and achieve goals
ACTIONS:  Make positive decisions and take responsibility for their actions
ENCOURAGE: A sense of Equality, Diversity and Interdependence
BECOME:  More aware and use their environment in creative ways
EVALUATE:  Their experience to make the most of the opportunity
LEARN:  And practice new skills in a safe space

Volunteering with Ocean Youth Trust Ireland: The Trust’s greatest assets are their volunteers.  The Trust offers a unique platform for youth development, providing the perfect environment for building mutual respect and developing self-esteem, core values and a connection with the wider world.

The Trust’s new volunteer development programme has just started in 2013 that offers anyone aged 16 and over with the opportunity to learn how to sail and to gain a free Royal Yacht Association qualification.  All that is required from you is dedication and commitment to train and some time to use your new qualification by volunteering with them in 2014 and beyond.  Once you are a part of the volunteer programme, it doesn’t stop there – with free practice training every week you will meet new people, have the opportunity to travel around the country helping to deliver the Trust’s programmes while having opportunities for further training and development along the way.

For further information on Ocean Youth Trust Ireland's programmes or to find out more about volunteering then please call - 028 9066 4525 / 07518 526 109 or email – [email protected].

Ocean Youth Trust Ireland - Charity number XR36870

shauna.oneill@nicva.org's picture
by Shauna O'Neill

Information Officer

[email protected]

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