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Dirk Aldous the Chairman of Friends of MV Freedom said” This is a tremendous step for the charity, made possible by our incredibly dedicated supporters from right across the Weymouth community and beyond. The charity is going from strength to strength and the outstanding financial support is now going to enable the charity to deliver an even better experience for all our passengers, which is the driving force behind all our volunteers. The new boat is due for delivery in December 2020 so watch this space for news of the boat in build, and please keep fundraising to enable us to equip the boat to the best standard possible. A massive thank you to all of you that have contributed to this wonderful development!”
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.