Danger of sinking due to coronavirus crisis
Published in the Daily Mirror online blog 16/4/2020
Watersports club for disadvantaged inner city children in danger of sinking due to coronavirus crisis
A watersports club that provides tuition, facilities, fun and a sense of community to disadvantaged inner city children is in danger of sinking due to the coronavirus crisis.
Westminster Boating Base on the Thames is an all-inclusive charity for adults and kids alike that – many of who live in the most deprived parts of the country. And they absolutely love it.
It offers offers kayaking, sailing and powerboat sessions and gives youngsters who would otherwise never set foot in such vessels a sense of purpose and achievement, vital life skills and a safe place to socialise and build relationships. They can also get nationally recognised qualifications in watersports. Indeed, many go on to become instructors themselves.
The children get the chance to take part annually at the Youth Games, which gives them the opportunity to develop winning skills while understanding fair play and respect in competition.
The club gives underprivileged kids a sense of achievement
WBB, which has been in operation for 45 years at it’s Pimlico home, also provides sessions for several state schools, and pupils with special needs.
But while children are the main focus of the base’s activities, there is plenty going on for other age groups. Such as an “Upperdecker” club for the over-60s – which also provides land-based activities when the weather won’t allow water ones.
WBB receives no government funding and relies on money raised from functions, adult payments for sessions and grants from other charities. But with Britain in the grip of the coronavirus crisis, its regular income stream has now been cut off and the base is closed, with all staff furloughed.
But the club is at risk
The base is, sadly, in danger of permanent closure without extra income to cover the fixed costs of the lockdown - denying thousands of children these wonderful opportunities. Trustees need to raise £100,000 to be confident of survival and restart its vital work once things get back to normal
In a desperate bid to stave off collapse, WBB has launched a crowdfunding bid and a plea for donations or sponsorships to help keep this vital community.
- If you can help, please visit the Crowdfunding page
- For enquiries about the base or becoming a donor, visit the boating base website