As a youth worker, there is always a feeling of uncertainty when visiting a new venue/centre and working with staff/instructors who you have never worked with before. Having met with Andy Spink to initially discuss how we could work together and also through Andys visit/presentation to the groups, we were confident of having a positive experience but ‘you never know until you go’.
From the moment we got on the Ferry at Oban, I had a really good feeling about the week(s) ahead and when we arrived at Tavool House, I knew all the groups were going to have a great time.
The young people we had given this opportunity to have been involved with Tullochan for some time and most of them hadn’t had the opportunity to attend a residential before so we wanted to reward them for their commitment, hard work and positive attitude they have shown over the last few months and years.
Our main outcome was for the young people was for them to have new and enjoyable experiences while having to push and challenge themselves and this was easily met and surpassed!
The young people all had an amazing time and although they found some of the activities challenging or a bit scary, everyone pushed themselves to ‘face their fears’ and overcome them. The activities also had the young people working together, communicating and figuring out and appreciating each others strengths and weaknesses which are vital tools to have in relation to employability and life in general.
Andy, as lead instructor was able to strike the perfect balance between sometimes having to be firm and clear when relating to matters of safety and discipline to at other times being able to laugh and joke with the group. He was also extremely professional, very knowledgeable and clearly experienced at not only leading the activities but also dealing with the young people as a group and as individuals.
The other instructors, Ben and Dan were also very professional and great with the young people and really helped bring out the best in them.
Another big positive was that we had the place to ourselves. Having been at other bigger centres in the past where other groups share the premises, this can cause various issues so it was great for the young people and staff to not have to worry about this feel totally relaxed and comfortable in their environment.
Overall, the accommodation, food, activities and their locations, staff (and dogs) combined to give the groups an experience they will surely never forget and just about everyone (young people and staff!) are already looking forward to returning in the future.
Personally, I hope that the relationship between Tullochan and The Roses Project can grow and develop in the future to provide more young people with the same fantastic experiences.
Thank you from all at Tullochan !
Senior Project Co-ordinator
Ben More on Mull.