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End of year message

End of year message

Posted on the 18th of December, 2020

End of Year Message to WBB Stakeholders 2020

Dear Supporters,

I would like to bring you up to date with the Westminster Boating Base and its activities in 2020. We got off to a good start with strong attendance and a bright future. Then the pandemic. In accordance with the government directives, we have been closed since 23 March but we have not been inactive. While the Director, Chief Instructor and Senior Instructor have been on furlough the Trustees, Board Members and volunteers have been busy. We have been maintaining the building, paying the bills, fund raising and producing new procedures for operating under Covid19 restrictions. At year end we find the staff still on furlough but working 2 or 3 days per week. A step forward.

We have had a huge response from members of the WBB, the local community, individual donors, philanthropic communities and government and sports organisations to keep us financially afloat. Of particular note was the crowdfunding that raised £20,000 and the individual efforts including the “2.6 Challenges” that substituted for the London marathon. There was a big response to our leafletting “Save the Base” to 2,500 letterboxes delivered by our Upperdeckers. We are so grateful to so many people who gave so generously.

It is with sadness to report the death of Mark Bachelor. He has been involved with the Base as a volunteer, instructor and Chairman of Trustees over more than 30 years. He has been at the forefront of guiding and supporting the charity and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude. He leaves behind a host of people who knew him so well and who benefited from his guidance and unfailing support.

Also, it is disappointing to report that our contracted Events and Catering Company – Retro – has ceased trading; a victim of the pandemic. They have been with us for over 20 years. We are now holding a “beauty contest” to find a replacement company as the revenue we earn from renting out the facilities for weddings, parties and training days contributes almost half our income. Stand by for a re-vitalised events venue. We are taking preliminary bookings now.

We plan to re-open as soon as social distancing rules allow. In the meantime, we will be regaining contact with schools and charities to rebuild a full schedule of activities both on and off the water. We will be keen to put the boats back on the water and breathe new life into the Base. 2021 will find us confident, equipped to deliver our charitable objectives to young people and to the community and eager to see you return.

We wish you all the best for Christmas, the holiday and for 2021.

Nigel Berman
Chair of Trustees

A Royal Yachting Association (RYA) & British Canoeing (BC) approved training centre, regulated by the Adventure Activities Licensing Service (AALS).

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