Friends of M.V. Freedom - Providing access to the sea for people living with disability

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Featured News

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service gallery pic

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service gallery pic

The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service gallery pic

HER MAJESTY’S LORD LIEUTENANT Angus Campbell presents our Charity with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, and names our new boat at Weymouth Harbour on the 22nd September, 2021. He was assisted by the Rev. Brother Alasdair Kay, the Rector of All Saints Church, Wyke who blessed the boat.

The Chairman of the Charity Dirk Aldous has said “Our charity has carried tens of thousands of passengers over the years, and we are delighted that Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant will be able to present the Award crystal and certificate, as well as formally naming our new boat. This recognition on top of the delivery of a brand new boat for this season after nine years of fundraising, will be a memorable milestone in the Charity’s history. It is a huge tribute to the hard work and commitment of our volunteers over many years, and particularly to the generous donations received from every element of the Weymouth and Portland communities and beyond. I hope that all our supporters will feel able to share with us, the continuing desire to ensure that our service to those living with disability is maintained and improved for many years to come”.

What is M.V. Freedom?

Our brand new M.V. Freedom is a 10 metre motor catamaran that has been specifically designed and built to cater for wheelchair users and those living with disability. The steadily increasing number of passengers,(well over 2200 bookings per annum) combined with the growing volume of disabilities and the size of wheelchairs, reinforced the need for a new vessel Thanks to the amazing generosity of our supporters and the hard work of our volunteers, the service our charity provides will continue for many years to come.

The charity has been in existence for 37 years and provides access to the sea for those people living with disability. Our passengers include those with sensory impairments, military veterans, 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.

All the MCA/RYA qualified skippers, and trained crews are volunteers, and as reward need only the pleasure of seeing so many of our 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 enjoy fishing or helming the boat or learning some navigational skills or the history of the area.

M.V. Freedom was first formally 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.

In June 2021, on the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation, the charity was thrilled and honoured by the Award of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, and in September received the celebratory Crystal and Scroll from Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant. Both extremely proud moments for all our volunteers, passengers and supporters.

Our charity is completely reliant on fund raising to survive. Every penny donated is spent on the safety, encouragement, enjoyment and empowerment of our passengers, plus the inevitable maintenance costs of running M.V.Freedom. We have no paid staff!