Weʼre raising £2,500 to Support Port Edgar Watersports Volunteer Training Programme
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Volunteer Training Programme
Our story -
In 2016 we introduced our pilot volunteer programme working with a small group of people of various ages. We set up the programme with the aim to help combat social isolation, encourage an active lifestyle and help those involved gain vital workplace experience that could be used with in the marine industry and beyond.
The success of the programme allowed us to grow our team of 6 in 2016 to 16 volunteers in 2017 with over 30 applicants. In 2022 our core team consisted of 24 volunteers aged between 14 and 21 years old, all working towards gaining professionally recognised qualifications including powerboat level 2, first aid and kayak, windsurfing and sailing instructor tickets. The popularity of the programme still continues to grow.
In 2022 we sought to expand the work the volunteers can do with us. In addition to the usual centre-based work, the volunteer team hosted and helped with many community events. The volunteers' voice was key in guiding our community outreach. We endeavoured to build events around issues the volunteers care about. One major success was establishing our “No Buoys Allowed” event; an all-female takeover of the centre creating a safe space to encourage women and girls to participate in watersports. The event was 100% donation based and allowed 67 women to get out onto the water raising over £870 for the charity Hey Girls who help to combat period poverty. We are excited to see the return of this event this year.
With the continued growth of our programme we have been able to expand the impact of our volunteer team, as well as cement this programme as core to our business. We recognised this continuous growth could only be sustainable with investment and in 2021 created a full-time Volunteer Coordinator role fully funded by the centre.
We are currently recruiting our volunteer team for 2023, targeting our recruitment towards young people from low income areas and areas highlighted via SIMD (Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation). We are looking at innovative ways to utilise our team, their ideas and their passion. We are exploring a range of ideas including free evening sessions for disadvantaged community groups as well as targeted fund-raising events tackling issues important to our volunteers.
Young people, particularly those from low-income areas, face disproportional barriers to employment and training. We have had a lot of success in breaking down some of these barriers already. Of our current instructor team, just under 50% have come through the volunteer programme. One of our previous volunteers is now a full time member of staff at our sister company EMA, a highly coveted position! Another one of our volunteers has been doing some work experience with our partners Coast to Coast Rigging and Eyemouth Marine.
Regardless of where the volunteers go after their time with us, they will be given opportunities to develop highly sought-after skills such as communication, team work and problem solving. Our volunteers have consistently reported that the development of these skills has been the most impactful part of the programme for them. Employers from any industry are always looking for such skills. This employability training is something we are looking to explore further going forward. This could be anything from CV writing sessions to interview practice. All of these things working towards our goal of preparing young people to contribute enthusiastically and purposefully to any workplace.
In 2022 alone Port Edgar Watersports CIC invested over £50,000 into the programme producing 10 new multi-disciplined instructors, 20 newly qualified first aiders and powerboaters, and over 2000 hours spent on training between June and August with many of our volunteers starting with no watersports experience.
What would you be supporting?
We are aiming to raise around 5% of the total cost of the programme via crowd funding. This fund would support the whole programme but if we can reach our goal, we would be able to provide individualised PPE for all of the team, 2 meals a day for certain volunteers, some travel costs subsided and some team building days. These funds will be used to ensure everyone can access the benefits of our programme, regardless of financial situation.
Thank you for caring.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story. And a massive thank you to all the volunteers throughout the years who's hard work made this programme the success it is.
We would really appreciate any donation you can make. Even a small donation can make a big difference. If you are unable to donate but would like to leave a message then please do, all of these messages will be passed on to the team. The biggest way you can support us without donating is by sharing this campaign with as many people as possible.
Roisin Fleming and Sami Poole
Port Edgar Watersports Volunteer Coordinator, and Centre Manager
To learn more about Port Edgar Watersports and our values please click here.
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Leave a message of support
Jan 24, 2023
Good for u Roisin....great to give folk a chance to experience somthing that is life enhancing.Wishing u every success to cary on ur invaluable work
Jan 23, 2023
Jan 21, 2023
Jan 21, 2023
Good luck with the 2023 season 👍
Jan 21, 2023
Good luck with this great cause!
Jan 20, 2023
Well done Roisin!
Jan 20, 2023
It's a great project Roisin 👍
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About the fundraiser
Port Edgar Watersports CIC
Port Edgar Watersports is a Community Interest Company. We use the Centre to make a positive difference around us. We aim to create somewhere accessible to all regardless of race, gender, age or ability. We strive to become not only a Centre of Excellence but a Centre For Impact.