Giving our report for the first half of the year should be quite tricky as nothing really happens between December and June as our beneficiaries tend not to go to sea at that time of the year. It’s not that our beneficiaries lack steely enthusiasm (although they might not be able to afford the remarkable cold weather clothing which is now on the market) it is more the case that all our operators are busy maintaining their boats for the now current season. Surprisingly, however, to find something to write about is far from tricky as there has been an awful lot going on.
Probably the most significant achievement of the period under review is the launch of our website at www.rtyccharity.org which is also available through the main Club website. Do visit this for a full picture and read some of the really touching reports which we have received. For this remarkable feat, the website that is, we are heavily indebted to Martin Lindsay (and probably also to John McMonigall with whom he sails –John for not taking him on a round the world cruise) for all his hard work, knowledge and flair. The website is saving us all a lot of time in that, instead of having to explain who we are and what we do to every other charity and organisation with whom we deal with, we can merely direct them to the website. This has useful links with overarching organisations such as the RYA and ASTO as well as to websites of our operators (the organisations that take the beneficiaries away on sea voyages) and our providers (the organisations that work with our potential beneficiaries).
In January, Rear Admiral John Lang came to the Clubhouse to give a totally enthralling talk about the Thames and its history and very kindly donated his fee to the Charity. It turned out that not only was the Admiral an excellent lecturer but also the Chairman of the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO) and accordingly one of the trustees was duly despatched to their Gosport HQ and was duly impressed that they knew all about us. We look forward to more co-operation in the future.
We have been introduced to the Faversham Creek Trust by Sir Ronnie McIntosh. Their aim is to restore the maritime heritage of the eponymous and attractive town and, as an adjunct to this, they are creating apprenticeships in traditional boat building skills. We have sponsored their first apprentice which is somewhat out of our normal run of activities.
In March, Brain Smullen and John O’Flaherty organised an exhibition of splendid marine paintings by Alastair Houston for which the nominal room charge and all commission was kindly donated to the charity. Alastair is a talented artist who came to painting via sailing rather than vice versa. Our thanks go to Brian and John for their generosity and the Club for its support.
One of the potential new provider/operators is the Cirdan Trust introduced
simultaneously by Peter Tracey and ASTO and another is the Leila Trust
introduced by Julian Hooper; keep them coming! Happily, hard work by the
Trustees in spreading the message of what we offer is beginning to pay off
and we are getting unsolicited approaches from outside organisations and
individuals. One such contact, ironically, has been with the TS John
Jerwood, a Sea Cadet training vessel berthed at
For the forthcoming season, we have undertaken to spend an amount which should see approximately 85 young people from disadvantaged backgrounds going on sea voyages which certainly alters their horizons but could just be life changing for them. The number which we hope to send to sea is an enormous step forward for us but we remain entirely dependant on the generosity of our supporters.