Claire McDade, Project Manager

I’ve been Project Manager for the Skylark IX Recovery project since November 2019.

Before that I spent over 20 years working for a wide range of museums and arts organisations across the UK in community and heritage management.

The story of Skylark is one of resilience and her example is an unending source of inspiration for those of us involved with her. People are at the heart of everything we do and I am very proud that we managed to keep things going throughout the Lockdowns of 2020-21 and achieved some great things for our service users and community. This includes delivering a programme of VE Day and Dunkirk commemorative activities via Zoom, teaching people in recovery how to build boats and bringing creative crafting activity to people at home with our Skylark Lockdown Patchwork Quilt, which we managed to display in Dumbarton town centre in autumn 2020.

Without everyone’s collective energy, drive, humour and resilience we would have achieved very little. I’m constantly buoyed up by the warmth and positivity everyone shows towards our project.


Jade West, Volunteer Co-ordinator

I am the Volunteer Coordinator for the project. I work part time here but I am also a student at the University of Glasgow, studying a BA in Community Development.

I came to the Project via a placement in 2019 with Alternatives and it was here that I first learned about the Skylark IX’s incredible story and I could really understand the correlations in the tagline that was ‘recovery for recovery’.

I love nothing more than to see our collaborative ideas come to life through our activities like our Boatbuilding Tutorials with people in recovery or the patchwork quilt we made with the whole community. I love hearing the amazing feedback from those who have been positively impacted through their experiences of volunteering with us and those supporting our ventures too. 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.


Jason Bradley, Boatbuilding Project Manager 

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 I’m overseeing the building of a St Ayles Skiff with Alternatives clients.

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.


Daisy Martinez, Boatbuilder 

I came to the Skylark IX project through my work as a boatbuilder/ teacher with Archipelago Folkschool.

Throughout the Lockdown, we worked with volunteers from Alternatives to build a fleet of scale model skiffs from beautiful birch ply kits. The boats were built ‘at a distance’, through a series of workshops delivered via Zoom. 3D boatbuilding via a 2D screen definitely has its challenges and oddities! But I have loved working with this brilliant, dedicated group of volunteers and staff. It has been a fantastic way to stay connected and keep crafting together.