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"The Chairman of Friends of M.V. Freedom Dirk Aldous said “ The is a time of mixed emotions for many of our charity volunteers, who have happy memories of working with MV Freedom over the years, and some of †he early birds turned up to wave her goodbye. We shall all now be busy preparing for the arrival of our new boat which hopefully will be delivered early in 2021. It will be a challenging time training our new crews and skippers, but our passengers needs come first and we shall do our utmost to be ready to provide them with access to the sea again, and some relief from the restrictions of COVID."
The charity has been in existence for 36 years and provides access to the sea for those people living with disability. Our passengers include military veterans, the deaf, blind, young adults, children and the elderly. Many are confined to wheelchairs, and often would have no other way of accessing life enhancing sea going experiences and their proven therapeutic benefits. M.V. Freedom is now 27 years old and a specially adapted motor catamaran. The boats age and the steadily increasing number of passengers, (over 2200 bookings August 2019) combined with the growing volume of disabilities, and the size of wheelchairs in particular, has prompted the charity to save for a replacement vessel. This will future proof the charity for decades to come. All the qualified skippers and crews are volunteers, and as reward need only the pleasure of seeing so many of their passengers responding to the joy of having the breeze in their faces and where possible the sight, sounds and smell of the sea and its inhabitants. Some will participate in fishing or helming the boat or learning some navigational skills or the history of the area. M.V. Freedom was recognised for her work with people living with disability, by being entrusted with the privilege of carrying the Olympic Flame for the 2012 Paralympic sailing events held in Portland Harbour. An extremely proud moment for all our volunteers and passengers. Our charity is completely reliant on fund raising to survive. Every penny donated is spent on the running, maintenance and promotion of M.V.Freedom, and saving for the costs of equipping our new boat.