Volunteering – Safety in Numbers

We all want to feel safe in and around the water and we recently saw many of the volunteers who keep us safe coming together for a training exercise at Woolverstone Marina and Lodge Park. An evening training exercise, organised by the Woolverstone Project (who offer sailing for the disabled at Alton Water and on the River Orwell), brought together two local Coastguard teams (Felixstowe and Holbrook) and the Harwich all-weather lifeboat. All the boats were moored at Woolverstone Marina to allow the various volunteers to discuss working together on a range of rescue scenarios.

The Coastguard teams brought their vans and all their equipment and over the course of the evening briefed the Woolverstone Project team on the specialist equipment they had and how they use it to rescue people stranded in the mud on the river. The Woolverstone Project volunteers in turn showed the lifeboat crew and Coastguard team the specially adapted boats which they use. These boats mean that anyone, whatever their disability can get on the water. They demonstrated the operation of the boats and the many opportunities they provide for their service users. During 2022 the Woolverstone Project offered over 2,000 sailing opportunities for disabled people and 2023 marks the 30th Anniversary of the charity’s operation.

After the training exercise was complete, the RNLI crew gave us a tour of the all-weather lifeboat and it was immediately clear why it is described as an “all-weather” boat. 

The Bank Holiday Monday of the Coronation is a day celebrating volunteering – The Big Help Out. This is a voluntary initiative supported by some of the UK’s biggest volunteer organisations, including the Scouts and the Royal Voluntary Service, as well as the Shaping the Future with Volunteering group of the UK’s leading volunteer-involving charities. The Big Help Out is open to all and you can find out more on https://thebighelpout.org.uk/. Why not volunteer yourself to see how much volunteering can help you as well as the people you are helping?

Everyone involved in this exercise was a volunteer and you can find out more about volunteering opportunities with the Woolverstone Project on www.woolverstoneproject.org.uk. Email Area7@mcga.gov.uk to find out about volunteering with the Coastguard or go to https://rnli.org/support-us/volunteer/how-you-can-volunteer to find out about volunteering with the RNLI.

In the event of an emergency along our coastline or estuaries or in mud call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.

Contact Information: Andy Beharrell, Chair of Trustees chair@woolverstoneproject.org.uk

THE WOOLVERSTONE PROJECT is a charity which provides sailing opportunities and tuition for those persons of all ages in Suffolk and North Essex with any type of disability. The Project aims to give people with disabilities the fun and freedom of an outdoor sporting activity in a safe environment with the help and tuition of qualified instructors. The Project was started in 1993 and is a holder of the Queens Award. The Project is a member of RYA Sailability and an RYA Recognised Training Centre. 2023 marks the 30th Anniversary of the charity.

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