Maritime training charity the Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) has secured important sponsorship from the Caledonia Investments Charitable Foundation (Caledonia Foundation) for the next three years.
The MVS was formed out of the Royal Naval Auxiliary (RNXS) in 1994. Since then, the service has grown as a charity with a focus on nautical training and community service. In 2012, the MVS was awarded The Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award. The MVS has 28 units around the UK and a fleet of more than 50 vessels ranging from RHIBs to harbour patrol boats all of which are looked after and maintained by unit members whenever possible. It also has a national training vessel, East Sussex One, based in Eastbourne.
The Caledonia Foundation is providing £75,000 a year to enable the MVS to significantly expand and improve its capabilities as both a training and community support organisation.
In the first year there will be an emphasis on assisting MVS Units around the UK to recover financially from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic as well as developing an in-house RYA power boat training capability and maintaining the charity's larger national training vessels. A programme will also be established to instruct MVS volunteers in basic flood response skills.
In the following two years there will be a focus on expanding a pool of instructors in the wide range of skills the charity requires and supporting members to acquire the skills they need to carry out their operations.
MVS chair David Hughes said: 'This will be game changing for our charity, enabling us to recover from the coronavirus pandemic and move our operation to a much higher level. The financial support will certainly be crucial for the implementation of our long-term business plan but the Caledonia Foundation's sponsorship of the MVS is also a clear signal that we have been recognised as a charity that contributes to communities around the UK and that its activities deserve support. We are very grateful for this sponsorship.'
Chairman of the Caledonia Foundation Jamie Cayzer-Colvin commented: 'The Maritime Volunteer Service is one of those nationwide charities that touch so many people in so many ways but often without them being aware. As an island nation, we are never far from the sea, a river, or a lake. The allure of all things nautical is deeply rooted in our history; the Caledonia Foundation is delighted to be able to support such a well deserving organisation at such a critical time.'