Churchwarden to sail box on Norfolk Broads
Paul Weatherill and a team from Rotary Club Watton & District have built a boat from a Shelterbox and will be sailing it across the Norfolk Broads from Yarmouth to Norwich next month.
Paul is a deputy church warden at Saint Marys in Watton, who have provided a lot of support for the project. He has never sailed a boat before but has built one out of a ShelterBox, along with the Rotary Club team, and they will be sailing it on the Norfolk Broads, to raise money for the disaster relief charity.
The design and build plans were developed by 83 year old ex RAF engineer Nigel, and over the last few months the team have been testing it out on the water. The boat has been built around the iconic green ShelterBox, and has been named Green Light.
Starting out from Great Yarmouth on Saturday August 7, they will make their way across Breydon Water, before arriving in Norwich on Monday August 9, covering some 40 miles in three days. Throughout the voyage they will engage and be seen by both local residents and holidaymakers, raising awareness and receiving donations for ShelterBox.
Paul Weatherill and the team from Rotary Club of Watton & District have been supporting ShelterBox for nearly ten years, as part of the charity’s project partnership with Rotary International. Unsurprisingly, the team of four have never done anything like this before.
Paul admits he isn’t an experienced sailor. He said, “I have read a book about a man who crossed the Atlantic in a modified jeep called Halfsafe which inspired me. Just because we haven’t tried this before doesn’t mean it can’t be done. We’re all of the mentality that it’s good to have a go and try new things – and even better when it’s to support a cause that we’re passionate about.”
ShelterBox?provides emergency shelter and other essential items to families who have lost their homes to disasters.?With operational?headquarters?in Cornwall,?the charity also has?15?affiliate organisations worldwide, and has supported more than 2 million people since it was founded in 2000.?The charity has been Rotary International’s project partner in disaster relief since 2012.
ShelterBox patron The Duchess of Cornwall has shared her support in a letter that she sent to the Rotary Club, stating that she was pleased to learn more about Green Light which “will make the most enormous difference to people who have, tragically, been made homeless by disaster and conflict and I should like to thank each of you from the bottom of my heart.”
People can donate to the cause by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-weatherill
And of course, the team would love to see you on the shores as they make their journey.
For more information about the charity itself, visit: www.shelterbox.org
The photo of Paul with Green Light is courtesy of Shelterbox.
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