Anne Dyer, Project Manager
Skylark came into my life as part of my work at Alternatives Community-based Recovery where I am Depute Manager.
At that time, she was under water on Loch Lomond and local people who knew her history had raised an SOS.
We were blessed to have this historic ship right here on our doorstep and could relate to her life in terms of troubled waters.
Like Skylark, many of our local people can face extraordinary circumstances in times of trouble and also feel like they are drowning.
So, we responded to the SOS. Not knowing much about boats but knowing lots about the strength people can gain from coming together with a common purpose, we joined with like-minded people to save and make good use of this precious Dunkirk ‘Little Ship’.
Matching her recovery story to our clients’ stories – ‘Recovery through Recovery’ – we set out to blend her rescue mission with the recovery of community members in need. We now do this through our boatbuilding training and heritage and arts projects.
We also set out to honour the past, bringing folk right into the heart of a vital WW2 story and remembering our past with great pride.
It has been a huge learning curve for all of us, but for me, it has been one of the most rewarding projects too.
Jade West, Community Engagement Lead
I came to the Skylark IX Recovery Project whilst studying for my BA in Community Development at the University of Glasgow and a placement with Alternatives Community-based Recovery.
During my placement, I learned Skylark IX’s incredible story and I could really understand the correlations in the Project’s motto ‘Recovery for Recovery’.
Today, I love nothing more than to see our collaborative ideas come to life through our activities, from our boatbuilding training with people in recovery and arts and heritage related projects like our Skylark IX Community Tapestry through to our free summer activities for young people across the community.
I also love hearing the amazing feedback from those who have been positively impacted through their experiences of volunteering with us or supporting our ventures. It is great to work and learn with so many interesting people, and so many of those who do so voluntarily as well. It is a real honour to serve my own community and work with Skylark IX and her story of bravery, empowerment and resilience.
Jae Bradley, Boatbuilding Project Lead
I’m a boatbuilder with Archipelago Folkschool, a community interest company and social enterprise who connect people with craft. I’ve been part of the Skylark team since 2020 and am based at The Denny Tank in Dumbarton where we completed the building of our first St Ayles Skiff with Alternatives clients and are now constructing canoes.
My connection to community boatbuilding is very personal. After recovering from a prolonged period of illness I was fortunate enough to take part in a woodworking course run by The GalGael Trust which then led directly to boatbuilding and the work I now do. I’ve benefitted from and seen first-hand how projects like Skylark can help the individuals who participate in them and the communities which surround those people.
I’m incredibly proud to be part of the Skylark IX team and thrilled to be part of her ongoing story.
Suzanne Marshall, Textile Artist and Historian
A freelance textile artist and historian, I came onboard in 2020 when the team wanted a creative activity to help connect local folk during Lockdown.
I designed the ‘Skylark Community Quilt’ around the postwar ‘Make Do & Mend’ culture in honour of Skylark IX.
Over 50 people joined in, using materials they already had at home to decorate fabric squares with motifs representing how they felt about Lockdown, the NHS and the local area.
I have a passion for the social history of textiles and how they impact people’s lives…in the past and present. Our projects including the weekly ‘Skylark IX in Stitches’ sewing group have been a fantastic way to engage all ages in the stories of Skylark IX and the Vale of Leven’s historic textile industries and Turkey Red dye in ways which aid recovery on many levels.
The creativity and development of our participants has shown how practical skills and shared learning in creating textile art can boost self-esteem, confidence and positivity. It is hugely rewarding to play a part in that.
The ‘Skylark Community Quilt’ is currently on display at the Scottish Maritime Museum (Denny Tank) in Dumbarton.
PAST ‘SKYLARK IX CREW’ MEMBERS
We’re grateful to our former team members for all their hard work and enthusiasm.
Rebecca MacAskill, Former Community Boatbuilding Coordinator
Rebecca completed a BA in Community Development at the University of Glasgow. She originally joined the Skylark IX Recovery Project to help deliver the summer activities programme, learning Skylark’s story of resilience and recovery and sharing this inspiring story with young people in Dumbarton.
Rebecca then worked with the Volunteer Trainees at our Boatbuilding Workshop, working collaboratively with everyone, supporting them in their learning and engagement and creating a safe and therapeutic space in which to meet new people and gain transferable skills.
Daisy Martinez, Boatbuilder
Daisy came to the Skylark IX Recovery Project through her work as a boatbuilder/ teacher with our partner Archipelago Folkschool.
Throughout the Lockdown, Daisy helped keep our boatbuilding skills training going, working with our Volunteer Trainees from Alternatives on a fleet of scale model skiffs. The boats, which were crafted from beautiful birch ply kits, were built ‘at a distance’ through a series of Zoom workshops.