Michael Lebaldi, 21 from Morecambe in Lancashire, heard about the JST from Barnardo’s Morecambe Moving On supported accommodation for homeless 16-24 year olds, where he currently lives.
Partnering with other charities is one of the ways we’re able to get the word out about what we do, because it means we can reach people who will most benefit from our voyages.
As Michael says: “To be honest, I was struggling to find my path in life. I lacked focus and direction, I wasn’t clear about what I wanted to do and how I was going to get there.”
Staff at Barnardo’s who have been supporting Michael secured funding for him to join the Dangoor Infinity programme, our partnership voyage with the British Exploring Society. This saw 38 young people undertake a four-week expedition, spending two weeks on land in Iceland and two weeks at sea on board Tenacious – part of a multi-year expedition programme for disabled and non-disabled young explorers.
Michael said: “I can honestly say going on the ship changed my life. I saw others on board deal with huge challenges – people with physical disabilities like the blind young man on my watch.
“Being in that environment made me think for myself and realise my priorities.”
Since leaving the ship, Michael has a new-found clarity about what he wants to do in life. He is currently applying for a job with a national charity and is considering a future career in the Army. He has also been invited back as a Bosun’s Mate, one of our crucial volunteer roles on board our ship, and has supported the JST team with maintenance work.
“I’m very excited about the future and what’s next. I’ve got a new bunch of mates who I can talk to and ask advice, and I’ve got a bit of confidence which I didn’t have before.”