Unicorn’s exist – and there’s one in Dundee!

Posted on August 31, 2015

frigate unicorn figureheadOur partners Frigate Unicorn have recently welcomed a new volunteer, Rhiannon, to their crew. The naval ship, launched in 1824, is now a visitor attraction berthed at City Quay, Dundee. Open for visitors since 1975 this beautiful frigate hosts pirate parties, weddings, functions and more, boasting 10,000 visitors a year.

Before volunteering with ProjectScotland, Rhiannon underwent heart surgery. Her confidence took a knock due to spending long periods of time in hospital and she began to feel quite isolated. She knew she needed something to help her get out of the house and meet new people, but wanted to be involved in something valuable that would help her ‘give back’.

When she met with Lisa, ProjectScotland’s Dundee Employability Manager, about possible opportunities she talked about her interest in art and her desire to become a designer. “It sounds silly, but I’ve wanted to be a designer since I was about 5. I just love art – my room is covered in paint, it’s on everything including my hair dryer, my jacket, even my dad’s sofa!” Lisa’s genuine interest in what Rhiannon liked and wanted to do made Rhiannon feel comfortable with taking on a new challenge.

Rhiannon tells us about her experience at Frigate Unicorn so far.

Rhiannon tells us about her experience at Frigate Unicorn so far.

“I didn’t know roles like this existed, Lisa made it all really easy and when I came to meet everyone at Frigate Unicorn they were so nice I knew I wanted to get started as soon as I could. I’ve made a guidebook, I’m designing posters, and Susan has a project lined up for me which means I’ll be recreating the information boards around the museum.”

Even though Rhiannon is right at the beginning of her volunteer journey, she already notices an improvement in her confidence. “I’m really enjoying it here, and everything I’m doing isn’t just helping the museum, I’m getting loads of stuff I can include in my folio.”

CSC_6297 copySusan, Rhiannon’s line manager, is no stranger to ProjectScotland volunteers. Prior to becoming the Development Manager at Frigate Unicorn, Susan had worked with one of our other partner organisations. “It’s a quality programme. The volunteers get all this additional support while volunteering, and we get a bigger time commitment which makes it easier to create proper projects that they can really get stuck into, it’s great for everyone involved.”

Frigate Unicorn is no stranger to volunteering – with 48 active volunteers who help with everything from ship maintenance to the running of the gift shop, the Unicorn couldn’t function without the time they give.

Our work with partners like Frigate Unicorn in Dundee supporting young people is part of Dundee’s Employability pipeline.

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