Seven young carers from Devizes, Warminster, Trowbridge and Salisbury took to the high seas recently to develop their leadership skills, improve their qualifications and raise money to support other young carers.
The young people completed a six-day sponsored sailing challenge over the Easter school holidays, successfully navigating over 100 nautical miles.
They were on a sailing boat the Moosk, owned by the Island Trust.
The trust, based in Devon, aims to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people through the confidence building and traditional adventure of sailing.
The young carers, who are supported by the Wiltshire Young Carers Service at Youth Action Wiltshire, learned about life skills, personal safety, how to sail and how to cook for each other.
They all gained ASDAN Leadership and Royal Yachting Association Competent Crew awards.
They are aiming to raise £500 for the Wiltshire Young Carers Service via the Just Giving site at www.justgiving.com/wyc-sailing-resi. So far £380 has so far been raised.
Wiltshire Young Carers Service provides support to young people who have to care for a family member, as well as opportunities for them to spend time away from their caring roles.
Feedback from the young carers showed that they enjoyed the trip immensely and that it has helped them to become more confident.
“I really enjoyed the sailing residential; it was a great experience,” said Dan Strawson, 16, from Devizes.
Lynn Gibson, assistant chief executive at Community First Wiltshire, said young carers often take on huge responsibilities at home and need time to enjoy outside challenges and opportunities.
She said: “The young carers would like to thank Youth Action Wiltshire, The Island Trust, Bradford on Avon Rotary Club and everyone who has sponsored them in their efforts to raise funds for other young carers’ respite sessions through their Just Giving website.
“It was a wonderful experience that has not only benefited the young carers themselves but will also help other young carers in future.”
Youth Action Wiltshire is a service provided by Community First in Wiltshire which has been supporting young people and volunteers in Wiltshire and Swindon for more than 60 years.
It supports over 750 young carers, works with over 70 youth clubs and runs training and activities for hundreds of vulnerable young people.