Westminster Boating Base, an independent charity (registered charity number 299412), aims to make watersports activities affordable and accessible for all. WBB is a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) and British Canoeing (BC) Quality Marked Training Centre and licensed by the Adventure Activities Licensing Service (AALS).
Why a minibus?
Our existing minibus was new in 1993 - that makes it, wait for it... 26 years old. That's more than two and a half times the age of our youngest youth members and older than many of our coaches!
Beginning life in 1993, this Ford Transit 15 seater minibus has had many a derriere on its seats as it has reliably transported our youth members, adults, instructors and volunteers to a plethora of kayaking and sailing events both at home and abroad over the years. Here's just a few of its adventures:
- to UKSA on the Isle of Wight for our youth summer sailing extravaganzas
- North Wales, the Thames Valley and Devon for whitewater kayaking
- Brightlingsea on the east coast of Essex for sailing
- residential stays whitewater kayaking on the river Dart, Dartmoor
- Canoe-slalom competitions in Kent, Northamptonshire, Wiltshire and more
- Taking our teams to the London Youth Games
- Brighton for sea sailing in Topper & Laser dinghies
- The Wye Valley in Herefordshire for canoe and kayak touring
- Visits to the Lee Valley Whitewater Centre – built for the London 2012 Olympics
- many trips to the south of France for whitewater kayaking on our awesome summer trips for both youngsters and adults.
- numerous trips to the shops, collecting donated items such as furniture, picking up new outboard engines or dinghies from the dealerships, trips to builders merchants, the list goes on!
All of our trips are subsidised for the youngsters by our charity and many of these trips have been with a full load, fully laden roof rack and a large trailer fulI of canoes, kayaks or sailing dinghies – in fact we’ve had 2 trailers in the time we’ve had this old workhorse.
It has had a good innings and has been well looked after, never wanting for anything mechanically - but sadly it's time has come. In recent times it has broken down a few times, last year leaving a group of kayakers stranded by the roadside in rural France. It’s not economical to keep it going so its time to say goodbye to our trusty steed and get a new one!
The minibus is a resource without which, the cost of each trip would rise – perhaps to a point where they become uneconomical to run or prohibitively expensive for our youth members.
What do we aim to buy?
A brand new minibus costs close to £45k. A 3 year old van with reasonable mileage can be found for £25k. We'll need to get a tow-bar and roof rack fitted too. We're setting our initial target at £15k. If there are enough people out there who value what we do, we might be able to raise the target and stretch to the £25k. If not, we will be in a good position to find corporate match-funding for the remainder.
It's an ambitious goal and if we don't make it to the target, we get NOTHING.
We would love to have this in place for the start of next season so that our intended busy programme of activities can go ahead unhindered and we do not waste further funds rejuvenating our existing minibus which is approaching its use-by date.
We’ve set our sights on a 17-seater with capability to tow a trailer. Obviously safety features will be top of the list but we’re also dreaming of air conditioning and any other luxuries that might be forthcoming in a new vehicle. The additional two seats over our current 15-seater will give us extra capacity - meaning that our trips can be even more economical and affordable for our youngsters.
Why should you help us?
As a charity, completely independent of the council or any unconditional local government funding, we have to raise the money to keep the doors open to young people who we only charge a token £15 per year for youth membership which opens the door to our 5 day a week core activities. Perhaps your child has sailed or kayaked with us and you'd like to give a bit extra?
We raise two thirds of our income via our venue and through adult watersports. The remaining third is raised through actively seeking donations from individuals and corporate sponsorship, applying for grants and any other ways we can think of to get the money in. Unfortunately we have been unsuccessful with applications to raise funds for a minibus so we're turning to crowdfunding as a possible means.
We hope that you can help us...
Once we hit our target of £15k, we're still short of the amount needed to get a decent minibus. We hope to find this through corporate funding support. Perhaps you work for or could open the door to a company that would be interested in supporting our charity and helping to raise funds for this project?
What's in it for you?
Not only will you feel all warm and fuzzy inside from the knowledge that you've done a great service to our community, but if you're a user of WBB and go on our trips, you'll be able to take advantage of the new equipment too.
But not only that! We've also got lots of AWESOME REWARDS available for your pledge so help us to hit our target and make it happen for all our members, users and potential users!
For more on Youth Membership and all the sessions and activities included, click HERE
For more on Powerboat Driving, click HERE
For more on Kayaking sessions, click HERE
For more on Sailing sessions, click HERE
For more on Adult Season tickets click HERE
Our awesome T-shirts (sizes available are Small, Medium, Large and X-Large - until stock runs out).
Typhoon Long-john wetsuits (colours vary):
Typhoon 5mm winter wetsuit (mens and womens available - colours vary):
Typhoon paddle mitts:
Typhoon sailing gloves (colours vary):
Zero to Hero Instructor Training reward
A training scheme for one of the following sports: dinghy sailing, kayaking and canoeing and powerboating - suitable for someone over the age of 16 years teaching personal skills from beginner to instructor level and providing NGB qualifications. The course will start in April 2020 and conclude end of September 2020. The more you put in, the more you get out.
Sessions provided will be from our 2020 weekly session schedule.
WBB will provide:
- One personal skills tuition session per week
- One instructor training session per week
- All personal skills certificates and others that are pre-requisite for the instructor course (for sailing the applicant must have a minimum RYA level 2 sailing certificate already).
- RYA or British Canoeing Instructor course (course fees only - course not necessarily run at WBB)