Businesses and volunteers socially distanced themselves and “net walked” along the North Tyneside coastline to raise much needed funds for a nautical charity.
Members of the Northumbria Unit of the Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) took part in their annual sponsored “Pier to Pier” walk which this year went from St Mary’s Lighthouse to the Tyne’s North Pier, a distance of around five miles.
They were joined on the hike by members of North Tyneside Business Forum and together more than £700 was raised. The funds will help the MVS to run their two vessels which are regularly seen on the Tyne and other rivers in the region.
Head of Unit, Volunteer Officer, Angela Carrington said:
Covid-19 has had a catastrophic effect on our fundraising efforts this year. Our fleet has been ‘laid-up’ until this month (September) and we’ve remained liable for running costs/repairs as well berthing fees for our patrol vessel, Tyne Spirit since March. Our programme of fundraising was cancelled due to the pandemic and we receive no government funding. This doesn’t mean that we’ve taken our foot off the gas – we have been working hard, delivering a programme of online training to up-skill our unit members and we’ve actually gained new members during the lockdown.
“We are very grateful to everyone who took part in the walk and to those who helped us to raise more than £700 on the day. We are particularly grateful to North Tyneside Business Forum whose members rallied round to support us.
Karen Goldfinch, Chair of the Business Forum heard about the walk, signed up personally, then realised it would be a good opportunity for both herself and Forum members who have been asking for face to face events to get some exercise, support the charity and “net walk”.
“The MVS do a lot of good community work on our stretch of the Tyne and in other areas of the region too and it was a great opportunity for us all to walk in small bubble groups and talk about our businesses, and make new connections, as we raised money for the charity. We had many new businesses join us, including one The Riverside Bakery who even provided cupcakes for everyone taking part”
Nationally, the MVS has more than 25 active units spread around the UK coastline at major port and river areas, with more units planned. Northumbria Unit is based at St Peter’s Marina at Newcastle.
The aim of the MVS is to keep the country’s maritime traditions alive. Practical training in seamanship, small boat handling, engineering and communications helps to achieve this. The unit played an active role in Tall Ships in Sunderland and Blyth.
Anyone wishing to know more about the MVS can email [email protected]