The 2021 Annual Shipwrights’ Apprentice Lectures will take place at 2pm on Wednesday 20 October 2021 and at an exciting new venue – the MAST Studios in Southampton City Centre. The latest Press Release can be found here.
The primary aim of Stars and Spokes is to raise funds and awareness for mental health in the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, in conjunction with the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC). Founded in 2007, it is the principal charity of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines, and exists to support sailors, marines and their families, for life. Dan Waskett and Pascal Patterson are serving officers in the Royal Navy and their Autumn update is below. Learn more at: https://www.starsandspokes.com/
Stars and Spokes Autumn update
Thank you for your ongoing support in helping us raise funds and awareness for military mental health. We have made massive inroads to our goal, raising almost £5000 for the Royal Navy Royal Marines Charity (RNRMC) so far. Getting the campaign started has been far from easy!
Our mission to cycle 5000 Km across the USA has been ever-changing. The plan to go this summer was necessarily delayed until 2022 due to COVID travel restrictions. This led to an interim Land’s End to John O’Groats 2000 Km ‘training’ ride in July- an excellent test of our fundraising approach, communications plan and expedition kit.
However, with 2 weeks to go Dan was deployed to Afghanistan ultimately for 3 months, leading a small team to develop awareness of the situation that resulted in the evacuation of Kabul. The complex and arduous nature of the mission reinforced the imperative of mental health support for our sailors and marines employed in similar circumstances.
Meanwhile, Pascal was left to cycle the entire route solo which took significant mental and physical fortitude. The first half took place during a heatwave, quickly followed by a succession of storms- nothing like a challenge, but he smashed it and learnt some invaluable lessons along the way, which we will jointly apply to our USA ride.
Whilst we are both undergoing some recovery prior to commencing our 10 month training plan, we are developing an ambitious fundraising campaign alongside the RNRMC with a revised target of £15,000. We welcome your continued support and look forward to working with you in the run-up to our ride across the USA in summer 2022.
Dan Waskett and Pascal Patterson
On Wednesday 6 October 2021 Court Assistant Mr Andreas Bisbas represented the Company at the annual boat launch at Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy. The Shipwrights’ Company regularly supports LRBBA students through its Billmeir Award scheme which Andreas chairs and in 2020 awarded LRBBA a grant towards its rebuilding project. Andreas provided the following report on his visit;
Upon arrival at LRBBA I met with Will Reed the Director (presenting certificates right) and Tim Gedge the founder. Whilst being shown around by Tim I was introduced to one of the instructing staff called Mike who was a student there in 2002 and had been supported by the Billmeir scheme.
One student currently supported by the Shipwrights graduated today, Jack Carling (left in the kilt). He came over to greet me after the ceremony and expressed his gratitude for our support and described it as “life changing”. Both his parents were there and they also came over to offer their thanks for our support of their son. They were visibly moved by what LRBBA had given to him.
LRBBA became a charity about 18 months ago. Their intention is to be able to provide bursaries of 50% of their fees to at least one student on each course per year, which equates to about £25,000 annually.
To the rear of the BBA building is a courtyard which Tim Gedge says they would like to develop in order to build a two story structure which will provide accommodation on the first floor and a GRP workshop on the ground floor.
The ceremony was very informal and the camaraderie amongst the students, who range in age from 18 to 72 was very evident. The boats they produced were excellent, especially when bearing mind they only start building them half way through the 40 week course.
It was an enjoyable visit and the happiness amongst those graduating from the 40 week course was a joy to witness.
In June 2019 the Education and Charity Committree approved an award to Whitby Hidden Impairments Support and Help (WHISH) who have submitted the following report on how the grant was used:
Firstly, thank you once again for extending this grant and enabling us to carry out the work for which it was intended. COVID-19 was an unexpected occurrence for us all, and in those unprecedented times, your understanding and flexibility was most appreciated.
WHISH received £1000 to provide accessible boat trips and sailing for our members who have hidden impairments and their families. During the summers of 2020 and 2021 we took fourteen trips on the WetWheels Yorkshire boat- unfortunately, sailing was not safe under lockdown restrictions. This is a specially adapted catamaran which is able to accommodate both wheelchairs and disability pushchairs.
Due to the outdoor nature of the activity and the size of the boat, this activity was safe for our more vulnerable members to attend as lockdown lifted. Initially members took part with their already formed support bubbles, but as restrictions eased attendance increased. In total, 101 individuals were able to go on a trip, making this one of our most popular activities of the summer.
The summer was a turning point for our members. From our telephone and digital support sessions over lockdown, it became apparent that our members’ mental health was deteriorating. Increased anxieties due to high vulnerabilities and lack of statutory support were the primary concerns for WHISH families. High levels of uncertainty and fear for such an extensive period of time took its toll on both children and parents, especially those who rely on structure and order to relieve their anxieties.
For our families, these trips were a lifeline. Being able to get out onto the water and experience the beauty of the North Sea (and for those lucky enough, the pod of bottlenose dolphins) helped bring families together and ease some of the hardships caused by lockdown. Relationships which had become strained by constant close contact benefitted from spending quality time together outside of the home. Children with high anxiety levels were able to let off steam in a safe way, and those who had struggled with low mood had something to look forward to for the first time in a long while. Here are a few quotes from WHISH families describing what the trips meant to them:
“My little boy really enjoyed the trip. Pete is fantastic with the children and really made my little boy feel valued. He was so excited to drive the boat and it really helped his confidence to have Pete praise him. He came away saying he was the best boat driver by far!”
“The time Pete spent chatting and reassuring the girls helped them to feel really special. They’ve completely turned around from being really fearful around water to going on three separate boat trips! It’s had such a massive positive impact on our whole lives.”
“The WetWheels trip was the highlight of my boys’ year. After lockdown, it was an opportunity to have fun in a safe environment away from crowds and covid worries and experience something new.”
With the funding and the flexibility of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights, we managed to support many more families than we anticipated. Throughout a time of bleakness, these experiences gave many families hope and support for the future. We thank you for your continued support throughout these trying times, and we hope to work with you again in the future. For your records, we have attached some photos with the consent of the families involved, which you are welcome to use.
Thank you once more,
Lyme Regis Boat Building Academy has launched a Newsletter directed at friends of BBA which can be read here. In October 2020 the Shipwrights’ Company donated £5000 to assist with the rebuild of the mezzanine and conversion work described in the Newsletter.
The 2021 Annual Shipwrights’ Apprentice Lectures will take place at 2pm on Wednesday 20 October 2021 and at an exciting new venue – the MAST Studios in Southampton City Centre. The latest Press Release can be found here..
NEWS FLASH: OUR 1000TH NEW SAILOR TAKES TO THE WATER!
Click on the link: RYST NEWSFLASH – OUR 1000TH NEW SAILOR
I’m delighted to announce an important milestone in the growth of the Trust that we reached this
week with your support. At Polkerris Beach on Thursday 16th September, nine-year-old Tyler from
Foxhole (pictured) became our 1000th new sailor introduced to the water.
As you know, we started just six years ago with the aim of making sailing available to all children in
our area – not just those with wealthy parents – and it seems incredible that despite two years of
COVID we’ve already created 1000 new sailors.
Tyler is a Year 5 student at Foxhole Learning Academy. Here’s what the school’s new Headteacher –
Tania Findlay MBE – had to say: “As well as getting children out in the fresh air having fun on the
water, learning to sail brings a sense of achievement which helps build a child’s independence and
self-esteem – outcomes which are very important to us at Foxhole Learning Academy. Thanks to the
Trust, we’re able to offer sailing courses to all our children in Years 5 and 6. We’re so delighted for
Tyler and hope he takes to sailing like a duck to water!”
The 1000 new sailors we’ve created so far owe their good fortune to the commitment of the 19
schools we serve and to our generous donors. This milestone is your achievement – and the Trust is
I wanted to let you know that we’ve spent the funding awarded to us by the Shipwrights’ Company earlier this year and it has made such a difference. We used part of the money to sand, varnish and rig the masts that we’ve now stepped into new robust mast steps in our large vessel Tectona. Please see the picture attached.
We have used the other part of the money to support two day sails for visually impaired young people based in Devon from Moorvision Trust. Photos attached.
Below are some quotes from the young people that came on the day sails and from Laura, the Moorvision group leader:
S.. (Aged 8): “The best part was the big sail going up and the worst part is now because I don’t want it to stop.” (Note that this was after a 7 hour sail in howling wind and driving rain!)
J.. (Aged 11): “I always get told off in school but here I haven’t been told off all day. I’ve been really good.”
Laura from Moorvision writes: ‘The change in them at the start of each day from looking nervous and quiet to the end of the day when they were full of new knowledge, skills and confidence was amazing. Some of our quietest children were really animated. Some that have behavioural challenges in addition to their visual impairment got to the end of the day and had been too busy to remember to be challenging and received a great deal of praise from everyone.
Many parents contacted us to say how much their children had enjoyed the trip and how much they had learned from it. Many of the children were able to talk about their new found skills and adventures in school, rather than always listening to others.’
Laura, Moorvision visually impaired General Manager and Group Leader for the trips.
Thank you again and I do hope this brings to life the projects that the Shipwrights’ Company so kindly support.
Jennifer Davis, Sailing Tectona CIC