Meet the Team – Finlay, Gap Year

Marjory - a volunteer at Gowanbank
Meet Marjory – one of Gowanbank’s volunteers
4 August 2022
Text: The Shed at Gowanbank
Shed Project at Gowanbank
15 July 2023
Marjory - a volunteer at Gowanbank
Meet Marjory – one of Gowanbank’s volunteers
4 August 2022
Text: The Shed at Gowanbank
Shed Project at Gowanbank
15 July 2023

Meet the Team – Finlay, Gap Year

Finlay joined our team in September 2022, to complete his Gap Year at Gowanbank. We recently caught up with Finlay, to hear about his experience of Gap Year so far and what he’s looking forward to over the next few months.


Hi Finlay! Tell us about why you decided to do a Gap Year at Gowanbank.

Hi! I didn’t so much decide to do a Gap Year with SU Scotland, but God led me to the Gap Year website the day before the application was due in, and it was already 11pm! Up until that point I had always been dead set on going to University, so this was quite a big detour in my life, that confused a lot of people! I went ahead with the application and wound up with a placement at Gowanbank. I’d never stayed before, never been before and never even been into East Ayrshire for any significant amount of time. However, it is now my favourite SU centre and this placement has been incredible 🙂

What have you been up to? 

So many things! I’ve been helping with and learning about many different aspects of centre life here at Gowanbank. I’ve been involved in the outdoor instruction, the cleaning & upkeep of the centre, as well as the catering for groups that come through. On top of this I’ve been roped into various other camps and day events, such as the Ayrshire Secondary Weekend held in November.A big part of my gap year has been moving away from home and into Ayrshire. My Host Family and the church I now attend with them have helped me to settle in really well. I have been getting involved in the church quite a bit, helping out with their newly restarted youth group, as well as playing in their worship “band”.

What has been the highlight of your year so far?I’m not sure if I can think of one specific thing that has stood out the most, because it has all been so good. If I was forced to choose one particular thing I’d probably say getting to work in a Christian environment, where God, prayer and the Bible are central to the whole charity. This is shown on both a local scale, with Gowanbank team devotionals, but also on a much larger scale at things like the SU Scotland Staff Conference. Having a common goal of sharing God’s love to children and young people is really encouraging!That, or the frequent coffee breaks at Gowanbank!

What are you looking forward to?

The upcoming season at Gowanbank, where we will be busy with schools and residentials. There will be a lot to learn, and so many people to share God’s love with. I’m looking forward to working alongside the other members of staff in delivering amazing experiences to the children and young people, and to all that I will be able to learn whilst we’re doing that.

Another thing is Encounter – a one day youth prayer conference, with interactive prayer and praise, being held in March. I’ve been on the planning team for this event both this and last year and I think God will do amazing things with it.

What would you say to someone considering applying for the Gap Year?

Pray! God’s plan may or may not involve an SU Gap Year for you, but you’ll discover that through prayer. However I can 100% recommend that a young person who is leaving school should look into doing a Gap Year like this!

Thank you, Finlay!

Finlay has been such a valuable member of the team here at Gowanbank and we’ll be sad to see him move on in a few months, but we are excited to see how God uses him and works through him at university, and beyond!

Interested in finding out more about our Gap Year programme? Visit suscotland.org.uk/gapyear