Eleanor Margetts, a student of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, was the recipient of an ‘Abrams Travel Bursary’ from the Shipwrights’ Company which enabled her to get to Paris to attend the JEC World Composites Show.  The Abrams Travel Bursary is specifically to enable students from Strathclyde to take up work placements / attend exhibitions and is the very generous gift of Liveryman Mike Abram who is also the Shipwrights’ Mentor at Strathclyde.  Eleanor wrote to Mike: “Here is the report from my Paris trip.  Thank you once again for the opportunity it was incredible.  Thank you so much for the bursary!!   Honestly, it makes all the difference and I am truly grateful.”

Eleanor’s Report can be found here.

The Company supported Youth Adventure Trust with a grant of £2,200 in February 2024 and has received the following message of thanks:

Please pass on our heartfelt thanks to everyone at the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights for their kind grant of £2,200 to help support disadvantaged young people from Wiltshire and Swindon attending the YAT Adventure Programme on our Coastal Camp this year.  https://www.youthadventuretrust.org.uk/young-people/yat-adventure-programme/coastal-camp/ 

The funds were safely received on the 7th of March, 2024. We are so grateful for your continued support of these vulnerable young people in this time of unprecedented need. The staff, volunteers, young people and their families offer you their sincerest thanks.

We will be delighted to provide you with a Progress Update Report next year with success stories and photos!

Thank you again for your support towards vulnerable young people from Swindon and Wiltshire. I look forward to sending you a report of what the young people’s adventures are this year on the Youth Adventure Trust Adventure Programme’s Coastal Camp. If you would like to visit the programme please let us know and we can happily arrange this for you.


The Shipwrights’ Company was delighted to receive the following message from Fulham Reach Boat Club to whom we send our congratulations:

Dear FRBC Supporter

We are absolutely delighted to share the news that Fulham Reach Boat Club has won the Community Club of the Year at the Community Sport and Recreation Awards!!

Adam Freeman-Pask, CEO, commented on receiving the good news:

“It’s amazing that our charity, Fulham Reach Boat Club, has won this prestigious award. There are around 150,000 sports clubs in the UK and this year we have been recognised as Community Club of the Year! I have always felt rowing gets overlooked as a sport to help drive positive change in individuals and bring communities together, this award helps put our sport firmly on the map. A huge credit goes to all the hard work of the rowers, coaches, staff and supporters for making FRBC a success since it was established 10 years ago.”

FRBC’s Alastair Horn, Boathouse Manager, and Julia Philipson, Head of Fundraising, collected the award from HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and Lisa O’Keefe, Secretary General of the IWG Women and Sport at Headingley Stadium in Leeds (pictured).

The judges were impressed with the variety of projects that FRBC deliver and commented on how people from a wide range of backgrounds are benefiting. As an example, figures from last week show that we have supported over 1,000 local pupils through our schools’ rowing programme since September 2023 alone! We would not be able to provide these experiences and opportunities if it wasn’t for our amazing supporters, so we would all would like to say a huge thanks to you for making this possible.

Thank you once again for your continued support and making FRBC the Community Club of the Year 2024!

Very best wishes


Head of Fundraising

Fulham Reach Boat Club

The folowing message and attached Impact Report have been received from the Portsmouth Sail Training Trust (PSTT).

“Thank you for supporting the work of Portsmouth Sail Training Trust (PSTT).  Your support enables young people to get out on the water and gain experiences and qualifications which have a positive impact on their lives and future careers.  Thank you!

Please find attached our 2023 Impact Report here.  Please feel free to share this report with those within your networks.”

Last year the Education and Charity Committee awarded £2,000 to the Cirdan Sailing Trust.  Ed Humphries, the Chief Executive has sent the following letter and progress reports:

“On behalf of The Cirdan Sailing Trust, I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights for the support of our work and the donation of £2,000 in 2023.  The funds were used for our Voyage of Discovery Fund scheme in support of young people who benefited from the Cirdan experience in the 2023 season.  Please find enclosed a full report showing allocation of the funds along with thank you letter and reports from the groups that you have helped this year.  

The 2023 Season 

The Cirdan Sailing Trust enjoyed a good season of sailing across all three vessels during 2023, with Duet experiencing her busiest season for a number of years.  We faced a few challenges this year, most notably trouble with recruiting crew and some mechanical issues with Queen Galadriel including her steering, but these were fixed and she could coninue sailing for the rest of the season.  

We provided residentials for a wide range of youth groups including special needs schools, young carers, youth justice services, homeless organisations, air cadets, sea cadets, early intervention in psychosis service users and those needing some added direction in life.  In total, we completed 54 residentials across our three vessels this year. 

Duet completed her run of Duke of Edinburgh (DofE) Gold Residentials across seven weeks during the school holidays.  The majority of the participants apply for financial support towards the cost of their place, many of whom are facing their own challenges such as autism, ADHD, low self-esteem, anxiety and from low-income families. Duet also took part in the exhilarating Round the Island Race in July. 

Faramir continued her 10-week circumnavigation programme around the UK, working with NHS Early Intervention in Psychosis service users.  Faramir came second in a very challenging Tall Ships Race from Den Helder to Hartlepool in July, facing gusts of 35 knots and waves of up to 6m in height.  

Queen Galadriel enjoyed sailing from the East and South coasts, working with young people with a variety of different needs and abilities. We were pleased to welcome our charity’s founder Bill Broad onboard Queen Galadriel in May for a special celebration for Cirdan’s 40th Anniversary.  All three vessels sailed into London mid-September where we a ended Hermitage Community Mooring’s open weekend.  We hosted a wonderful celebration, inviting people that have been connected to Cirdan over the last four decades, from shipwrights and engineers to past crew and staff members. 

More than 50% of the groups this year were new to Cirdan, and it has been great welcoming new youth organisations onboard to experience the challenges and excitement of life at sea. 

Winter Refit and 2024 Season

All three vessels are now laid up for the winter. Faramir and Duet are in Fambridge Marina whilst Queen Galadriel is in her regular winter mud berth in Maldon.  The MCA winter surveys have been completed, which highlight maintenance work that must be undertaken in order for the MCA operating licences to be issued next year.  We are looking at a busy refit period to turn the boats around for next season and will need to prioritise the most essential work.  We have a number of important capital projects to fundraise for including a new tender, planks and sails for Queen Galadriel, as well as lifejackets, a new AIS for Faramir and a full strip down of her engine. 

Our 2024 bookings are looking positive, with many weeks already booked by groups returning after having successful voyages with us in 2023 and seeing the benefits. Faramir will repeat her successful UK circumnavigation programme, working alongside early intervention in psychosis service users. Queen Galadriel will welcome groups old and new, sailing from the East and South coasts. Duet, as well as taking groups, will continue her run of DofE Gold Residentials, which are also open to any young person aged 16-25 wanting to experience life at sea. We have a number of voyages across our fleet next year for individuals to book places on, and these will be sailing from several locations including Fambridge, Ipswich, Hartlepool and Portsmouth.

Feedback from leaders this year has shown that many young people are still experiencing anxiety since the Covid pandemic and lockdown. Being outside on the water and taking part in teamwork has helped them to overcome personal challenges and build their confidence and self-esteem.

Your Invaluable Support

Fundraising is getting increasingly harder, and we have noticed a lot of funding budgets have decreased.

Overheads are also increasing; some substantially such as berthing costs, electricity, fuel, materials, and parts. Therefore, the amount we need to operate our Voyage of Discovery Fund is increasing every year. For the 2024 season, we estimate our target to be approximately £325,000 for the VOD scheme in addition to donations for vessel refit and general purposes.

We are very appreciative of The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights’ valuable support, and we would be enormously grateful if you could continue to support us in this way. Thank you once again for the generous donation made available to Cirdan last year and for taking the time to consider this appeal.”

The Shipwrights’ Company makes a series of donations to organisations that deliver offshore sail training and water-based activities that assist the personal development of young people.  Recipients include the Tall Ships Youth Trust, UKSA and Ocean Youth Trust Scotland, to whom the Educaton and Charity Committee awarded £5,000.  Sian McCluskey, the Fundraising and Communications Officer has sent the following letter of thanks:

Ocean Youth Trust Scotland — Report to the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights

Following a generous donation of £5,000 from the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, I am now delighted to enclose a full report on how the funding was spent and the significant impact it had on the young people who sailed with us.

2023 has been another successful season, with more than 550 young people stepping aboard our vessels for transformative youth work on the waves. During this year, we were fortunate enough to take part in the Tall Ships Races 2023, where two groups of young people sailed our largest vessel, Alba Explorer, across the North Sea and back in a once-in-a-lifetime voyage experience.

This year also saw us formally receive the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Il’s Platinum Jubilee Volunteering Award. Two young volunteers accepted this award on behalf of the Trust, marking both a significant moment for them and for our wider volunteering base.

I hope the Trustees will enjoy reading about the determination and adaptability exhibited by these young people, and will take pride in seeing the qualifications, and improved wellbeing, these individuals have achieved.  Fair Winds.

The report can be downloaded here.


The Shipwrights’ Company supports the London Nautical School with an annual grant and by permanently providing a link Governor, with many other Shipwrights holding or having held School Governors’ posts. Some years ago the Company’s Ark Appeal funded the establishment of nautical studies in the curriculum and the post of a maritime studies teacher, thereby reconnecting the school with one element of its heritage and history. It was fabulous to receive the following note and photographs from Richard Garcia, the current Maritime Studies teacher at LNS, who took his Year 9 pupils on a visit to the CUTTY SARK in Greenwich.

“A very fun and interesting experience was had at the Cutty Sark museum by our year 9 maritime class. The boys were in particular interested in the design of the ship and number of sails that powered her into the record books of the time. 15km of rope work hanging in the rig was way off our guesstimates. In particular the boys enjoyed rope work and certainly the guides were wowed at the knowledge of the boys and how quickly they picked up making rope ladders (we conveniently left out being an Sea Cadet Corps unit as well!).

With the Cutty Sark’s previous history with the boys of the London Nautical College learning their seamanship aboard, the boys felt a real sense of kinship and connection. The boys expressed how proud they are to be keeping the nautical traditions and maritime skills alive. Having spoken to the volunteer staff we certainly will be pursuing any opportunities afforded to practice and learn seamanship as well as conservation with the Cutty Sark crew.
One last note was the cabins and how small they were, the boys were surprised to hear that they will be in similar small spaces on their tall ships experience!”

Richard Garcia
Maritime Studies
London Nautical School

The facet of the Shipwrights charitable giving that has the most direct connection to the origins of the Company is the Billmeir Award Scheme under which grants are awarded for technical education and training and comes from a Trust set up in 1957 by the late Jack Billmeir CBE, a shipowner and Prime Warden of the Shipwrights Company in 1962.  Grants are primarily made to individuals to support them in their training at one of the schools teaching modern (e.g. GRP) and traditional timber ship and boat building, or to universities and colleges teaching naval architecture, and marine engineering.

One such grant was made in June 2023 to Finghin Murphy, an intern with Stirling and Son in Plymouth, who was awarded £1,000 to purchase tools.  Sara Stirling, one of the Directors, has sent the following notes of thanks from Fin and herself:

“One of our shipwright interns, Finghin Murphy, was lucky enough to receive a grant to purchase tools from the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights in July last year.  He has now spent all of his grant funds and attached are the receipts for the tools that he has purchased.

I have also attached a photograph of Fin working on the historic vessel, Vigilance of Brixham, which we are currently restoring.

We are extremely grateful for all your support of our Traditional Shipwright Interns.

Sara Stirling”

A message from Fin;

“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to The Worshipful Company of Shipwrights for the grant you awarded me. With this money I’ve been able to purchase a wide range of new and second-hand carpentry tools, which I’ve been able to put to immediate use at the slip. I’m also currently making a tool tote from the douglas fir deck planks we had to remove from Vigalance of Brixham. Over the past year I’ve been fortunate to be involved in Vigilance’s overhaul and managed to learn and practice essential skills such as making frames and fitting planks.

Many thanks again,

Fin Murphy”

In June 2023 the Education and Charity Committee supported an application from the Spill Festival and awarded a grant of £1,000 to support the Shefarers of Ipswich project.  The objectives of the project were:

A short evaluation report on Shefarers of Ipswich can be found here.

Abrams Travel Bursary – Thanks from a very grateful student

Eleanor Margetts, a student of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, was the recipient of an ‘Abrams Travel Bursary’ from the Shipwrights’ Company which enabled her to get to Paris to attend the JEC World Composites Show.  The Abrams Travel Bursary is specifically to enable students from Strathclyde to take up […]