Late last week, the team at the Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre received a call from kayak storage member, and local charity champion, Steve Whiteway, about a story that he had seen about a Dad who had learnt to swim so he could enjoy water based activities with his daughter.

Kandas Dougouno learnt to swim during the winter through the Sport England funded pilot project, Making Waves Together, so that he could join his daughter, Fatima, on the water at sessions held at the Mount Batten Centre.

Steve was so touched by the story that he decided to donate his own kayak to Kandas and Fatima so that they could continue to enjoy many hours kayaking together in Plymouth Sound.

On receiving the generous donation, Kandas, who volunteers for Plymouth Hope, a charity which aims to support social inclusion by supporting people who may otherwise have become socially excluded, asked Steve if he would be happy for the kayak to be widely accepted on behalf of the charity to enable others to enjoy it and in doing so name the kayak ‘Spirit of Hope’. 

Steve said: “I’m delighted to be able to donate my kayak to Kandas, Fatima and the wider community at Plymouth Hope. I’m glad that they will be able to enjoy it and explore our beautiful Plymouth Sound with the support of the Making Waves Together project and the team at Mount Batten Watersports and Activities Centre. I couldn’t think of a better name for the kayak too, ‘Spirit of Hope’.”