We have an amazing team of Gap Years across our four Centres. We profile a few of them below, to help give a taste of what it is like being a "Gappie" at an Abernethy Centre.
Why did you chose Abernethy in the first place?
I wanted to do a Gap Year after school and didn’t know what to do. My Mum had told me about Abernethy and so I went to one of the Nethybridge Summer Camps [Adventure Plus] to see if I would like it and I did! And so I applied.
So what have you found that you have enjoyed so far?
Being at Abernethy is a good learning experience. I enjoy learning to live independently and being with new people – even learning how to deal with adult relationships. As well as all the activities!
What do you think is cool about Abernethy Ardeonaig in particular?
Definitely the area that we’re in – being by Loch Tay is so awesome! Swimming in Loch Tay in the snow was the coldest but the most amazing experience – definitely the coolest thing I did this year. I really like the way that everyone works together at this Centre. You get to become really close to your colleagues and the other Gap Years quite quickly, because we’re living in the two staff houses, so that’s really cool.
So tell us about how you’ve grown spiritually – obviously it’s only six months in, but tell us a bit about the faith side.
It’s been really good to see other peoples’ opinions and actually start to think “why do I believe this, because someone else believes something else” – and exploring faith for myself. It’s been really interesting to just discover different ideas. Being around different Christians from different backgrounds, that’s been really helpful. Being away from home gives you space to grow. You’ve got time to do that.
The Gap Year programme gives space for growth as well. We had a meeting about Spiritual Gifts which I thought was really interesting – I hadn’t really thought about it much before.
Would you recommend it to other people?
Oh, 100%! Six months in, I definitely feel like I have changed a lot. It’s such a good stepping stone to University, or the next thing, because you’re still living in a supportive environment, but you’re by yourself. I would definitely recommend it. I really enjoy it.
Tell me about the photo of you below, Cross Country Skiing. Was that on a day off?
We were supposed to be having our team weekend away, but we got snowed in and we ended up staying here at Ardeonaig. One of the activities we got to do was Cross Country skiing and it was really cool!
What made you want to apply for a Maintenance Gap Year role at Abernethy?
I would see Maintenance staff when I did Summer Camps and they looked like they had a great time as well as some really useful work at the Centre. There’s a great atmosphere at Abernethy: it’s a place where I’ve had a lot of fun myself.
What are you doing next year?
I’m going to Aberdeen Uni to do Accountancy and Finance.
That sounds quite different to Maintenance! Why did you think it was a good thing to have done a Gap Year at Abernethy before going to Uni?
Being able to live with lots of other people here has really set me up for going into halls in the first year of Uni. I now feel a lot more confident about that, and about living away from home. It’s put me out of comfort zone!
Tell us about the Christian element.
At Abernethy, we’re really encouraged to grow in our faith. I feel like my faith has developed a lot, and I feel much more confident as well – and closer to God.
In terms of helping other people and being part of the Abernethy experience here, what does that mean to you?
It means a lot to me because I know I am able to contribute to something bigger than myself and helping kids come here and have a great time…
Tell us about what you get up to outside of work.
Outside of work, you can get up to all sorts – there’s lots available to us here at Nethy. I’ve been skiing quite a lot this season. When we started in Summer, we were going bridge jumping [NB not a supervised Abernethy activity!]… You can kayak, canoe… you have to put yourself out there and you can have a great time.
Would you choose Scotland again rather than going overseas for a Gap Year?
Yes, I think Scotland is such a cool place: there’s a lot to do here.