We are looking to Crowdfunder to replace our old and tired lifejackets and we need to purchase 18. Each lifejacket costs around £60-£70 and has to meet stringent safety standards.
Every year vessels like ours are required to undergo a coding inspection very similar to an MOT on a car, although it must be said much more rigorously due to the demands of the marine environment, replacing the lifejackets is just one part of the process.
Our Tall Ship, Helen Mary R has sailed approximately 100,000 miles (roughly equivalent to 4 ½ times around the world!) and more importantly has inspired over 5000 young people since she was built in 1986; as you can imagine this takes its toll on equipment and gear.
Sadly two years ago we found out our standing rigging needed replacing and at the time we didn't have the funds to pay for it. We had to make the difficult decision to stop operations and have been fighting ever since to get Morvargh back on the water and inspiring young people like Esmae (see below). The fight has been long and there have been many low points but we can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, and hopefully this crowdfunder will push us ever closer.
Mórvargh Sailing Project provides sail training voyages for young people on our 57ft Tall Ship, Helen Mary R. We normally sail from Sutton Harbour in Plymouth and ports on the South West coast. Our sail training voyages promote leadership, resourcefulness, and teamwork and we know that they can make a profound impact in a young person’s vision of themselves.
90% of young people taking part learn something about themselves which will make a positive change in their life.
When we sail we take 10-12 young people aged 14-25 and whilst on board they are involved with all aspects of sailing from hoisting and reefing the sails, to helming, to navigating as well as being responsible for the domestic chores! It’s great to watch the young people overcome the challenges of baking bread whilst at 30° of heel!
We use offshore sailing because it is an unforgiving natural environment that provides a sense of risk and adventure. Helen Mary R is a natural extension to this, she requires hard physical work and cannot be sailed without teamwork, both on deck and down below. Most people come to us with little or no sailing experience but nearly all find it a life changing experience.
Esmae, 18 -
Having grown up in Plymouth, I have always loved the sea. I have spent a lot of my childhood rock pooling and swimming and was a member of the national marine aquarium for several years.
As long as I can remember others have commented on my shyness/quietness and whilst it bothered me, I thought that it was just the way I was so didn’t seek to work on my confidence.
When I was 14 I was offered a place on a school trip with Mórvargh sailing project. I was initially unsure as to whether I would like to go, as it was a whole week away and I only briefly knew the others on the trip. I tried to justify my passing up on such and opportunity with silly worries like ‘What if I get sea sick?’ and ‘What if they don’t have vegetarian food?’ But, after a bit of convincing and the thought: ‘What if I love it?’ I decided to go for it, and I am so glad that I did.
I have since participated in twelve or so week-long voyages around the Devon coastline. In addition, I became a watch leader; this required me to take responsibility for teaching groups of young people whilst on trips including during a three-week long voyage to France with students from Plymouth University (who were at the time a few years older than me). This opportunity allowed me to develop leadership skills and confidence alongside learning to become a more competent sailor.
I no longer feel defined by my shyness or quietness. Since Mórvargh offered me such fantastic experiences and opportunities with their project, it has given me the confidence to have faith in what I can achieve.
Last year I completed two scuba diving courses and this year I have applied to do a Marine Biology and Oceanography course at Plymouth University. I truly believe that if I didn’t have the experiences I did with Mórvargh, I may never have pursued these interests that have put me on the path to do what I love.
I will always be Grateful to Mórvargh for that and hope that I am still able to be a part of the inspirational work that Mórvargh do and encourage others like me to realise their potential.
Hannah, 16 - I have learn't so many new things for both on and off shore, but I also learnt about myself. Sorry for the cliche there, but I really did. I learnt that although I came across all confident on the boat, but for the once for the first time, I think I actually felt it!
Devon & Cornwall Police, PCSO - That lovely boat has been crucial in our police projects over the years and has helped build personal confidence with youths that are way out of their comfort zone.
A Parent - ...has had fantastic opportunities and experiences through Morvargh and its brought out skills and strengths I never knew were there, as im sure it has in many young people, its really contributed to her confidence and growth, it will be real loss if other children miss out on such an incredible experience.