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“The highlight of MVF’s fundraising through this difficult year was a Sponsored swim in Newtons Cove on the 30th August when over 40 friends and supporters swam for “Freedom”. Even a brave and very fit blind man completed the course with the aid of a “Freedom" volunteer to keep him on course. Qualified jet skiers, kayakers and the Portland Harbour Master's vessel provided the all important safety coverage on the water.
The event was an overwhelming success, not least thanks to two Weymouth businessmen, who decided to compete with each other, not only to see who could swim the course fastest, but to see who could raise the most money. Today each of them was presented with a framed certificate acknowledging their truly outstanding efforts in raising over £3500 from personal contributions, and from their friends and customers.
M.V.Freedom’s Chairman Dirk Aldous said, “ Our support from Mark and Brian has been absolutely outstanding and we owe them a real debt of gratitude. We have no paid staff so all the money will go towards running our boat trips next year and new and improved facilities for our very deserving passengers!”
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.