End of Year Newsletter 2021

21 December 2021

With 2021 drawing to a close, we look back at what we have achieved and forward to what to expect in 2022

Looking back on 2021

While our 2021 sailing season was limited due to Covid, it was fantastic to be back out on the water again. As soon as we could welcome passengers, we focused on our core aims of youth sail training and providing opportunities for our community to see and experience the Swan.

During the short season we sailed around much of Shetland, welcoming school pupils from Whalsay, Unst, Yell and Sandwick. We were also able to attend the Delting Boating Club Centenary celebrations as well as operate tours in and around Scalloway and Lerwick - including the Scalloway Peerie Club and a book launch for Marsali Taylor’s The Shetland Sea Murders, which features the Swan.

This year we offered some new trips aimed at families and developed Sail Training Taster days with Sail Training Shetland, all of which were a great success. We also promoted Shetland’s fishing heritage out with the Isles, producing short films for both the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival and the Anstruther Harbour Festival.

The Swan in Lerwick Harbour. Image: Andrew Gibson
The Swan in Lerwick Harbour. Image: Andrew Gibson

Celebrating our successes

We were delighted that one of our volunteers, Scott Sandison received a Spirit of the Community Award for his youth work aboard the Swan.

2021 also marked the 25th anniversary of the Swan’s relaunch as a sail training and charter vessel. We are delighted to reach this milestone, which is testament to the support all our volunteers, sponsors and many others, have given the Trust over the years. As part of the activities to mark this milestone, we ran a series of What Swan Means to Me features and BBC Radio Shetland aired an hour-long programme about her return and sail training life. Thank you everyone who took part in this.

A Whalsay School pupil at the helm with Scott Sandison (pictured centre) who received a 2021 Spirit of the Community Award for his youth work aboard the Swan
Scott Sandison (pictured Centre) during a school trip in whalsay, 2021

Looking ahead to 2022

We are looking forward to a full sailing season next year, including:

  • Working with local musician Barry Nisbet to deliver his Sessions and Sail experience in Shetland
  • A trip to St Kilda
  • A cruise around the Western Isles
  • Various Shetland day trips
  • Taking part in Tall Ships Races 2022 and The Excelsior Trust Centenary Smack Race
  • Undertaking several trips to build excitement for The Tall Ships Races coming back to Shetland in 2023
  • Welcoming pupils aboard from local schools around the isles.

We also look forward to working with current - and welcoming new - volunteers, trainees, sponsors and funders. The Swan is a community asset and we are passionate about enabling our community, especially its young folk, to experience the benefits the Swan has to offer.

The Swan sailing off the Uists in 2019 Image: Robert Malcolm Kay
The Swan sailing off the Uists in 2019 Image: Robert Malcolm Kay

Thank you

During the year we have received great support from several funding sources, including:

We are incredibly grateful to all our funders, sponsors and volunteers, without whom we could not maintain and operate the Swan.

If you would like to help support Swan follow these links to donate or volunteer with the Trust.

Anyone can sail on Swan, for details of trips available to book check out our upcoming trips

The Swan Trust would like to thank all its supporters, and wish everyone a Very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


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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