Being built, launched and working most of her long career in Shetland, Swan has always had a strong link with the community. Both during her return/restoration, and now with her ongoing operation, the community of Shetland has supported The Swan Trust and its objectives and we look to give back to the community wherever we can.

First and foremost, Swan is a community asset which brings people together, whether on a sailing trip, as part of our volunteer base or through community events. With a particular focus on enabling youth sail training opportunities, we connect with schools, sail training and youth organisations, and undertake a range of youth sails every year. We believe our youth are our future and always enjoy seeing them learn new skills, challenge themselves and grow in confidence on our trips.

We value and help to develop the skills of our volunteer base, looking to help them as they help us, and work with partner organisations to enhance community events and funding bids for youth, community and other projects. We also develop/strengthen links between Shetland and other coastal communities, building Shetland's brand.

The sail training and volunteering experiences we offer are about much more than sailing/maintaining the boat, they promote mental and physical health, build life experiences, confidence, skills and friendships.

We are incredibly proud to work with the community of Shetland, and the work we do to both keep our heritage alive and offer life changing experiences for our current and future generations.

Examples of communtiy work and links with local events:

2020 and 2021 - Note: Due to COVID-19 our planned 2020 activities have been cancelled and rescheduled for 2021 or 2022.

  • We will work with local schools to source funding to deliver half and full day sails to local school pupils. As 2021 sees our 25th anniversary as a sail training vessel, we are looking to undertake additional school sailing trips this year.
  • We are working with Shetland Tall Ships Ltd and Sail Training Sheltand on a bid for Shetland to be a host port for The Tall Ships Races 2023. If successful, we will help our community to reap the benefits this event will bring. We are also working with Sail Training Shetland on planning youth trips for 15-25 year olds in 2022 - including taking part in Tall Ships Races 2022.
  • We are partnering with Laurie Goodland, of Shetland with Laurie, to offer new guided Lerwick Harbour Tours aboard Swan, hopefully in 2021, and with local musician Barry Nisbet to offer his Sessions & Sail experience in the isles for the first time, in 2022.
  • We are keeping in contact with the organisers of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival and Anstruther Harbour Festival, with a view to moving our planned visits in 2020 to the events in 2022.
  • We have also partnered with other organisations to offer trips which promote particular aspects of our heritage, including: A Herring Trail, Shetland to Anstruther, where partner organisations include: Stronsay Ranger Service, Wick Heritage Museum and Scottish Fisheries Museum. This trip, planned for 2020, may now take place in 2022.


  • We worked with Shetland's Youth Ambassadors, Shetland Islands Council, Shetland Schools and Environmental Artist Julia Barton, to bring an innovative environmental art project to the isles, which has long lasting legacy through the Shetland's Youth Ambassodrs being trained to deliver environmental workshops on an ongoing basis.
  • Even though Swan was on a charter outwith the isles, The Swan Trust took part in Sheltand Boat Week by opening its Sail Loft to the public for the first time.
  • We worked with Sail Training Sheltand to place 10 trainees onboard for race one of the Tall Ships Races, from Aalborg in Denmark to Fredrikstad in Norway.
  • We opened Swan for an infromal music session during the Shetland Folk Festival.
  • We worked with Shetland Amenity Trust, Shetland Tall Ships Company and Sail Training Shetland to submit a successful funding application to Event Scotland Year of Coasts and Waters to expand Shetland Boat Week 2020.
  • We worked with Zetland Educational Trust and local schools to deliver half and full day sails to local school pupils.
  • We helped strengthen Shetland's links with Faroe through both greeting a Faroeese Flotilla to Shetland and Visiting Faroe on a 'Cod Hunters' Trail.
  • We presented theVevoe Trophy to our Sail Trainee of the Year 2019 at our annual end of season gathering.



Want to get involved in maintaining and operating a traditional wooden sailing vessel? There are a number of different ways you can volunteer to safeguard, care for and sail this unique heritage asset.

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The Swan was in Unst and Yell last week to deliver a number of half day sails to pupils in the isles. Skippering the trip was Scott Sandison, who first came aboard the Swan as a schoolboy himself, which inspired him to pursue a marine career.

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The Swan travelled to Whalsay last week as part of the Trust’s activities to mark 25 years since the Swan was relaunched as a sail training vessel. The trip was a chance for local pupils to hear about the days when Swan was a fishing boat in Whalsay, and for the Swan to undertake a trip similar to her very first voyage following her relaunch in 1996.

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