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 - Note: Due to COVID-19 these 2020 activities have been cancelled, however we are working on rescheduling many to 2021.

  • We will work with Zetland Educational Trust and local schools to deliver half and full day sails to local school pupils.
  • We are working with Sail Training Sheltand to place 10 trainees onboard for an Adventure Sail North, Ullapool to Shetland, and working with them and The Shetland Amenity Trust to expand Shetland Boat Week 2020
  • We are working with the planning committee to make Swan part of the planned Festival of the Sea in Scalloway, August 2020
  • We are partnering with Laurie Goodland, of Shetland with Laurie, to offer new guided Lerwick Harbour Tours aboard Swan and with local musician Barry Nisbet to offer his Sessions & Sail experience in the isles for the first time
  • Swan will part of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival and Anstruther Harbour Festival.
  • 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; and a Shetland Bus inspired trip to Norway, which we are currently working on with the Shetland Bus Friendship Society.


  • 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 the Vevoe Trophy to our Sail Trainee of the Year 2019 at our annual end of season gathering.



Want to get involved in sail training boat trips in Shetland? There are a number of different ways you can volunteer.

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Every year volunteers come together over the winter to help maintain Swan, consisting of both traditional boat maintenance and one-off tasks. Over the past couple of years these have included re-caulking the coach roof and dismantling and overhauling the capstan. Here Swan Trust Trustee Brian Wishart, tells us about repairing the Bowsprit.

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In the next instalment of our personal stories of Swan, Maggie Adamson tells us about her history with Swan and life on board as a crew member of this classic sailing boat. As an accomplished sailor, and world class musician, Maggie has travelled the world, but her passion for Shetland and the Swan has seen her crew the Swan for the past four seasons.

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