This summer in Dundee, Education Worker Sandy Mcleod has been supporting children and young people through outdoor activities.
Sandy introduced our young people to 1:1 fly fishing coaching at the beautiful Ledyatt Fishery, run by owner David Duff.
Over several visits to the fishery, Sandy discovered that David had a story of his own to share with people in care….
With a calming nature, David welcomes everyone he meets with a friendly smile and a joke. Standing beside him, little would you know that his younger years did not have the easiest of starts. Similar to over 65,000 children who are placed in care each year in the UK, David found himself in foster care, being unable to remain with his biological family.
David was in care from a young age and he recalls that there was no support in place to give him the necessary skills or knowledge to help with the transition from living with a foster family to living independently.
“Being brought up in care can be hard. When I left care aged 16, I was given £300 and a wave goodbye.”
As David’s story portrays, it is so important to help young people while they are still at school. At Swiis, we guide young people to explore their options in terms of future education, employment or training so they can make the best decisions for themselves as they approach adulthood.
When beginning the process of moving towards independence, Swiis work proactively with young people and provide guidance and knowledge around general life skills including financial and budget planning to ensure that their move to independence is a planned and successful journey.
“Thankfully today, there is a support network and help is never far away.”
Many of our young people stay in touch with us when they move on, so that we can continue to offer them the emotional support they may need. David wants his experiences to demonstrate to foster children that “Sure you will have hard times, certainly there will be times when you want to give up, or run, but you will make it.”
We are also delighted and very grateful that David has generously donated two brand new fly fishing rods and reels so that our children and young people in the Swiis Foster Care Dundee area can continue to build their confidence and skills in fishing. David wishes that when he was in care someone had taken the time to show him different skills. His donation is a heartfelt one that the whole team of staff and children at Swiis will cherish.
In his personal life, David has channeled his experiences and dedicated himself to turning the fortunes of a sleepy fishery into a sought after beautiful destination. His passion and hard work have paid off; Ledyatt fishery is now one of the best in the UK and people come from miles around for the chance to catch a 26lbs “mega trout”!