I am aware that I may be encroaching on an area that is sensitive, and I am certainly stepping outside of the subject areas and tone normally associated with my blog postings. I apologise for this in advance but please read on as I believe this to be important.
By way of background, my support for charities was damaged over 20 years ago when my company was commissioned to produce a promotional marketing model for a well-known, high profile charitable organisation. This household name charity had many altruistic, well-motivated people working tirelessly selling second hand items for next to nothing on high streets up and down the country. They all worked selflessly and passionately with the very best of intentions believing they were ‘making a difference’. I delivered the model to the charities well-appointed headquarters in Chelsea and found the staff car park littered with exceptionally expensive cars. I was greeted by a general atmosphere of aloofness, arrogance, and entitlement – the contrast was distasteful.
Since then, I have developed a rather cynical attitude to the established charitable organisations as I now question how much is spent on overheads and how much actually reaches the intended beneficiaries.
As a result, my charitable contributions have become more focussed on homeless individuals on the street, the cherished charities of friends who perform heroics to raise money and the RNLI of course.
Recently, in Northney Marina, I noticed a ‘hubbub ‘ ashore and spoke to someone clearly involved with what was going on. I discovered that it was an organisation called ‘Sailing Therapy’ who were having an introductory day for care home managers. This organisation operates a wheelchair friendly boat, ‘Rebecca Anne’ to offer access to the water for people with disabilities and learning difficulties. They operate in Chichester Harbour and it enables the participants to view the wildlife, stimulate their senses and just ‘connect’ with the water.
I personally really subscribe to the merits of being on, in and close to the water and there is something in this connection which I feel is subliminally therapeutic. I can really understand the benefit to physical and mental wellbeing that waterborne activity can enhance.
Sailing Therapy is a ‘Community Interest Company’ which makes it a government backed institution but is less regulated than a designated Charity and therefore much easier to run on a small local basis. Regulatory details of Community Interest Companies (C.I.C.) can be found on the website www.cicregulator.gov.uk
There are no unnecessary overheads with this organisation with the funds being utilised exclusively for equipment and running costs. It is wholly staffed by volunteers, so they do a great job for the community, and I think they really deserve support.
They desperately need two things to continue to provide and improve the provision of their valuable work.
They need volunteers to help with the crewing of ‘Rebecca Anne’, preferably, but not necessarily, with RYA qualifications but with a DBS clearance although I understand this can be obtained relatively quickly.
The other requirement is, rather predictably, funding. The charity operates on a shoestring and they currently have to launch and recover ‘Rebecca Anne’ for every trip as they cannot afford a Marina Berth which would, of course, be infinitely more convenient.
If you are inclined to consider supporting this very worthy cause, donations can be made here:-
You can also check out their web site at:-