Knowing and understanding yourself, other people and your environment.

“Before I started my Columba 1400 leadership academy, I was terrified. I was shy and always preferred to stay within my comfort zone. I knew I would be with new people but there was something in me that made we want to go. I hadn’t really been away from home before.

“At the beginning, the sessions were quite stressful as I didn’t know my group. There were a lot of anger issues in the school, and this affected our class group. Our relationships were fragile, and no one trusted each other. The Columba 1400 team built excitement with team building activities and the group bonded slowly.

“There was anticipation on the bus going up to Skye. When we arrived at the centre, all the team were so welcoming and warm, with no judgement. I felt safe and secure there. There was a lot of talking about our feelings and we all struggled with confidence because of the school and community that we came from. The activities we did on our residential week on Skye focused on our leadership, and some were quite emotional.

“Taking part helped me realise who I want to be. A really big change was that it stopped me prejudging people. Previously, I got frustrated with those around me that were angry, but Columba 1400 helped me realise that there are stories behind the behaviours. I started asking the question why are they like this. A close family member suffers from bipolar, and Columba 1400 helped me realise to take a different approach with them.

Now if I have a challenge in my life, I look inwards to see what I can do rather than ranting. It’s made me think how can I use what I learnt in my daily life and in the future.  If I hadn’t had this experience, I wouldn’t have been able to do some of the amazing things I’ve done since then including my job as a youth worker in my local community.”

Marysia, young person

Group of teenagers outside on Skye
Group of teenagers outside in the sun on Skye
Group of four outside on Skye looking at something on the ground