Full Sail Ahead with our Community Boatbuilding Coordinator!

The Skylark IX Recovery Project has appointed a Community Boatbuilding Coordinator to help develop the charity’s successful skiff skills training workshop in Dumbarton.

Rebecca MacAskill will work alongside Jason Bradley, Boatbuilding Project Manager from the Skylark IX Recovery Project’s partner Archipelago Folkschool, helping volunteer trainees learn new, transferable woodwork skills by building a 22ft St Ayles Rowing Skiff.

Rebecca, who is currently in the final year of a Community Development BA, joined the Skylark team earlier this year when she helped design and deliver the popular summer activities programme inspired by the survival, resilience and wartime service of the ‘Dunkirk Little Ship’ Skylark IX at the heart of the Project.

Moving to the skiff building workshop, which is housed in the Scottish Maritime Museum’s Denny Tank on Castle Street, Rebecca will work with the volunteer trainees helping create a safe and therapeutic space for them to meet new people and gain valuable new skills.

Claire McDade, Project Manager for the Skylark IX Recovery Project, says:

“Rebecca is a wonderful addition to the Skylark IX team. Her enthusiasm and her understanding of community development gained through her studies will be of real value as we move forward and grow our programmes to help more people across West Dunbartonshire.”

Rebecca MacAskill, Community Boatbuilding Coordinator, adds:

“I’m thrilled to move to the skiff building workshop as the Community Boatbuilding Coordinator. The work is super exciting. Watching the skiff take shape is extremely rewarding for the participants and myself included and I can’t wait for the future with more boat building projects and, we hope, seeing local people use the skiffs to come together to establish a Dumbarton Rowing Club!”

At present, volunteer trainees supported through the skiff building project come from Alternatives West Dumbarton Community Drug Service as well as Dumbarton Area Council on Alcohol (DACA).

The volunteer trainees began work on their first skiff in early 2019. Although the Skylark IX Recovery Project had to close the workshop during Lockdown, the skills training moved online with participants learning the same fundamental boatbuilding skills through crafting 50cm scale models complete with sails.

It is hoped that the first skiff will be completed by the end of the year.

The Skylark IX Recovery Project then hopes to encourage people in West Dunbartonshire to use the skiff and another skiff which the Project had made by the Scottish Maritime Museum’s Scottish Boatbuilding School to establish a Dumbarton rowing club.

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