Morvargh Sailing Project is 10yrs old!
It’s certainly been an interesting decade for the Project, filled with inspiring moments but also the odd frustration & challenge thrown in for good measure. The biggest challenge; our vessel Helen Mary R needed her standing rigging replacing which stopped operations for nearly 4yrs! As Vicky and I fund much of Morvargh’s costs privately we just didn’t have the funds available, those were some dark days and months. By using our overdrafts, credit cards, and donations the rigging was replaced and the boat re-coded! (and the rudder taken out and fixed but that’s another £1000 story). We can’t thank everyone enough who donated, helped and supported us through this time!
In April 2017 we set sail on ASPIRE360, a round Britain challenge with 8 young people! The emotion of getting to that point was huge, we had made it! The young people were an amazing group, mostly around 14years old and other than the odd dinghy sailing none of them had set foot on a boat before! We sailed out the Western Entrance of Plymouth Sound and 1777nm, 44 days, and 17 different ports later we sailed back in again! A life changing adeventure!
Having the Project based in Plymouth was an easy decision in 2010 when we started; good transport links, a large safe harbour, and a lots of young people to take sailing! We’ve been honoured to work with organisations such as the Mount Batten watersports and activities centre and the National Marine Aqaurium and hope to continue to create opportunities for young people moving into this next decade.
In 2017 we offered the use of Helen Mary R to Fowey Regatta as their committee boat – what this started, was a journey we didn’t realise would make such a massive impact to our lives. One thing being part of the regatta has shown us is how much being part of wider community is important to us. Everyone we’ve spoken too has been as passionate as we are about getting young people afloat, they’ve been interested in what we do, and they’ve wanted us to get invloved! This has really shown to us that this community belonging is a key element that is missing from Plymouth and being part of a community is high on our list of priorities for the next decade!
Last year Vicky and I started to investigate the potential of relocating Morvargh to Fowey; this first initial step saw us talking to the parents of the children we took sailing from Fowey; 22 already! POFROC (Port of Fowey Race Organising Committee) members and friends we’ve made during the regatta. What we received was an overwhelmingly positive response and it quickly became apparent that the Project could fit into the existing community in Fowey and bring something special to young people which would complement and enhance what happens in the harbour.
During mid-December we launched an innovative new partnership with Fowey River Academy, with the aim of taking up to 40 young people sailing around Great Britain undertaking another #ASPIRE360 challenge. Jon Rolls, Community Enterprise Director from Fowey River Academy, “We are really excited about this ground-breaking partnership. Not many schools are lucky enough to be situated in such a beautiful location near the sea, and we must be one of the first to hold a round Britain challenge for our students. This is part of a strategic direction for the Academy, to put outdoor activity and the natural environment at the heart of what we do.”
This next 10yrs will be as exciting as the last 10 and starts with a new beginning! Yesterday we received confirmation that we could move the Project to Fowey and in April, Helen Mary R will be sailing out of the city to her new home and the next stage of our journey begins! We can’t wait to be working within the close-knit community of Fowey and we look forward to taking our partnership with Fowey River Academy to even greater places in 2021 and beyond!
Happy New Year!
Matt & Victoria