In the Community
We were delighted to host, in partnership with Friends and Families, families for a morning of accessible paddleboarding. We used Equal Adventure seats on Red Paddle Co Tandem SUP boards to provide a highly stable, fully inclusive introduction to paddleboarding. The smiles on the faces just says it all!
Many thanks go to the numerous charitable organisations who have helped to support this activity, including most recently David Cormack from the Lodge of Prudence 1550 that supported the purchase of a tandem SUP board. Huge thanks also go to Suresh Paul from Equal Adventure for his expert guidance on accessible paddlesports.
Thanks to the support of the Peter Harrison Foundation, the Whirlwind Charitable Trust, the RNLI and Promoting Children in Plymouth, this week here at the Mount Batten Centre Charity Trust we delivered school water safety days to students from High Street Primary and Cathedral School of St Mary Primary.
The Centre provided a range of both water and land-based activities, all of which had a key focus of promoting water-safety awareness, knowledge and skills. Students paddled Bellboats on the River Plym for a practical lesson on wind speed and tidal flow; Batten Bay beach was used for throwline practice and the float to live technique, and the Mount Batten Tower was visited for (in our opinion!) the best view of Plymouth Sound National Marine Park and for practicing 999 calls.
Mount Batten Centre’s Chief Operating Officer/CEO Alex King said:
“It’s been a privilege to host this series of school water safety days, the Centre’s team are all passionate advocates for promoting water-safety awareness from an early age. Thanks again to the supporting charities, the Peter Harrison Foundation and the Whirlwind Charitable Trust, whom without their generous support we could not deliver this water-based educational programme.”
Furthermore, we were honoured that Stormy Stan from the RNLI joined for all three days ensuring the trips were both educational and memorable. Stormy Stan presented all students with a Certificate of Attendance and further educational materials on water-safety.
On the water with Children in Need over the summer of 2022
We were delighted to speak with Radio Devon about the work we do here at the Centre and the opportunities that funding from BBC Children in Need enables.
Making waves with BBC Children in Need in 2021
During the October half term, the Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre were proud to host a week of activities for the Making Waves Together project funded by Children in Need.
Local young people from PL1, PL2 and PL4 communities enjoyed a wide range of on, and off, water activities including kayaking, bell boating, giant SUP fun, archery, orienteering, sailing, as well as yoga and mindfulness sessions provided by local yoga instructor Haidee from Yoga with Haidee, all made possible with funding from Children in Need and coordinated through the Making Waves Plymouth project.
Throughout the week, some participants also had the opportunity to take their first qualification in dinghy sailing with the Royal Yachting Association as part of the RYA’s Tackling Inequalities project and twenty four participants were taught the RNLI’s ‘Float to Live’ techniques.
The Centre work closely with Making Waves Plymouth to host and deliver on and off water activities for local young people through specific funding opportunities.
Sam Waites, Watersports and Activities Manager at the Centre said: “We’ve been working with the Making Waves project for a few years now which has enabled us to reach more young people within our communities. For some, their first visit to the Centre may also be their first experience of getting out on the water and we are privileged to watch them gain confidence, try something new and make lasting memories here in Britain’s Ocean City.”
Tors Froud, Project Coordinator for Making Waves Plymouth said: “I am so incredibly humbled to work with such amazing young people and their families. I’ve seen a Dad learn to swim just so he can enjoy kayaking with his daughter; I’ve witnessed first hand the generosity of the local community policing team who have participated (and got soaked!) as part of the activities provided and I’ve seen the difference that funded opportunities like these make to young people’s lives.
We wouldn’t have been able to achieve our half term week of activities without Children in Need funding. Thank you Children in Need.
We continue to apply for relevant grants and funding and look forward to providing many more opportunities over the months and years to come. All those that want to enjoy the water and do so safely with guidance and knowledge should be able to do so.”
As the vision for Plymouth Sound to become the UK’s first National Marine Park continues to be developed, the Mount Batten peninsula and the Centre have been identified as one of five gateways to the Park for active recreation.
Previous support from Children in Need:
The Mount Batten Centre Charity Trust is coming to the end of a three-year BBC Children in Need programme supporting Plymouth young carers – a young carer is someone aged under 18 who helps to look after a relative with a disability, illness, mental health condition or drug/alcohol problem.
The staff, management and trustees of the Mount Batten Centre Charity Trust believe that it is the core purpose of the Centre to support the local community and, in particular, provide opportunities for those who may face challenges in accessing the natural resource of the sea in a safe and supported way. With this mindset we’ve delivered programmes of respite care for young carers so they can have a break from their caring responsibilities. Our programmes allow these young carers to be with their peers who understand what it’s like to be a carer “they just get it”.
Most importantly we’ve given these amazing young people the opportunity to simply be a child. This has been achieved by providing week-long programmes of adventurous activities including:
- Stand Up Paddleboarding
- Beach studies
- a visit from Pudsey!
For many of the young people they have been taken out of their comfort zone trying something new and daunting – but they have all risen to the challenge through the support of our team and this experience will undoubtedly help them within their everyday lives.
The improvements we’ve observed in confidence, self-esteem and teamwork through participation in adventurous activities has been significant and the progress made is testimony to the immense efforts and positive engagement from the young people.
Feedback from the young carers as we reach the end of this project suggests that it is within the environment of the Centre that they feel the most “free” and “able to enjoy time with their friends” – we are incredibly proud of the efforts of these young people and the Centre’s staff in delivering these immensely rewarding and impactful programmes.
However don’t just take our word for it, here’s a video from Daisy who’s been participating in these programmes: