A great day aboard The Pioneer

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On Saturday October 21st 2017 6 Young People and 3 Members of Mid & North East Essex CYP Team went on an organised trip to The Pioneer Sailing Trust, Brightlingsea.

Each of these Young People have had support for issues before hand at Mid & North East Essex Mind. Some of the original presenting issues were Anxiety, Anger, Self- Harm, Education Issues, Low Mood, Bullying and Family issues.Although the group of 6 had never met each other before, they put aside any anxieties they may have had and made the most of enjoying the trip.

When we arrived at Pioneer we were greeted by Pioneer Bosun – Shari, First Mate – Josh and Skipper – Cyril who immediately made the whole group feel very welcome and comfortable.
We sat as a group and learnt a bit about one another with our icebreaker activities before we continued with the day.

The young people learnt about the boat yard and the craftsmanship involved in building such vessels. One young person in particular is keen to learn more about the carpentry involved in boat building. We are hopeful that this young person will go on to engage in other activities with The Pioneer Trust.

The group went on to learn how to put on waterproofs and safety gear before boarding the Trinity for a trip up the river Colne to Rowhedge and back. All the young people pulled together and began to interact well. 5 of them were able to experience steering the vessel. Pioneer staff shared the history of the surroundings whilst travelling up the river and the young people enjoyed seeing familiar local places from a different perspective.

We then come alongside the Pioneer and climbed on board for lunch. The group truly came together whilst playing games on board. It was clear that this invaluable experience has brought together 6 young people who now have the confidence to meet again.

Shari told us the very interesting story of the Pioneer and we then departed for a return to the boat yard. We spent time reflecting on our day whilst waiting for our minibus. On the journey home all young people integrated and you wouldn’t have known they had only met 6 hours previously.

A few Quotes from the Young People’s feedback forms:

“I have learnt to not be so scared of something that hasn’t even happened”

“It’s made me realise you don’t need to know someone to go somewhere”

“I feel a lot more confident now, I feel really happy”

Despite the setbacks in terms of the weather and not being able to actually sail the Pioneer with the young people, a great deal was gained from this day. A group of 6 young people who were all nervous at the start of the day have now come together and will continue to meet on a monthly basis.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff and crew at The Pioneer Sailing Trust and the funders of the trip, Colchester Catalyst. The confidence of these young people noticeably changed as a result of such an enjoyable day. Thank you all so very much.

Libbie Miller CYP Project Worker – MNEE Mind