14 October 2019

Youth Advantage Outreach at Castlelaw.

Army Run Courses.

Evening of Friday 27th of August Vanessa (my wife) and I headed into the Pentland Hills above Edinburgh. We were heading to Castlelaw Hill for the latest Youth Advantage Outreach course run by the Army.

YAO courses are an Army-led outreach course using military training that aim at boosting young people’s skills and steering them away from trouble.

The courses are aimed at young people in the 14-18 years age group who are minor offenders or on the periphery of offending.

Castlelaw Base Camp.

Over five days at Castlelaw Farm, the young people take part in activities such as map-reading, sport, adventure training, first aid, drill and living in the field.

GAU has been asked a number of times to give talks at these courses. We have always been very happy to oblige for two reasons; firstly, to try and help to influence these youth to become positive members of society, and secondly, stepping back into a military environment brings back nice memories for me. Although I do get the mickey taken out of me for being ex-RAF.

The evening spent with these young ladies was quite wonderful. There was a good few tears and some very kind words from these ladies. Vanessa and I both were asked a great many questions.

Each and every day is packed full of experiences that these youth would not be able to enjoy otherwise, like the assault course, abseiling, mountain biking, archery & raft building, to name just a few.

Inspire, motivate, achieve and change……providing positive direction to youth in Scotland is the motto of the YAO. The course has changed many lives already for the better and I am sure will do in the future.

Last Thoughts.

This course and ones like them are so important in helping to inspire our youth away from a possible life of offending. The staff at these courses are superb, all with skills to show and teach. These courses are not about recruitment, these courses are about changing lives.

Over & Out.