This year we have decided to support the work of the Andrew Simpson Foundation whose fundamental ethos is to facilitate a wider participation in sailing, and to optimise the benefits that the sport can deliver to young people and ultimately to society at large. Importantly, we seek to be as inclusive as possible by encouraging children and young people from all backgrounds to participate, whilst catering for a range of physical and educational abilities. There is a centre near us in Portsmouth which we will be supporting with both volunteering and fundraising.
Andrew “Bart” Simpson was a Gold Medallist at the Beijing Olympic Games and an Americas Cup sailor who sadly drowned while training for the 34th Americas Cup in San Francisco when the 72ft catamaran he was on capsized and he was trapped under one of the hulls. Andrew was a huge inspiration to the sailing fraternity and his legacy lives on in the ethos of the Foundation.
Breaking down barriers
The Foundation is providing the challenges of a sailing environment to promote health and well-being, and to develop personal skills that will improve a young person’s ability to succeed in life and work. The Foundation recognise sailing as a sport and as a recreation that is not always accessible to all owing to lack of finance, a physical or learning disability, mental health or social barriers. The Foundation helps to break down those barriers by working with sailing providers to offer financial and practical support.
We are organising several fundraising events during the course of this year which include:
- Josh doing a skydive over the Palm in Dubai at the end of March.
- David & MaryAnne taking part in Bike4Bart in the Meon Valley on a tandem on 27th April. Jason will be joining on a “state of the art” carbon fibre bike so they will probably only ever see his rear view!
- Jason undertaking a Port(Plymouth) to Port(Portsmouth) bike ride in one day, a distance of around 180 miles, to arrive at Evolve HO before the office closes!
- Our office hosting a display of the D-Day plotting table at Southwick’s D-Day weekend event in June. Southwick is the home of the Map Room where the D-Day landings were planned by Churchill & Eisenhower and this year is the 75th Anniversary of that event. The village has a 2-day commemoration event including re-enactors, Battle of Britain Fly Past plus many other events and we will opening our office doors and collecting donations.
- A “walk a mile” event to be agreed for sometime in September and we hope to encourage as many of our network and clients as possible to enter with their families during the course of a week.
- A Christmas Concert on 19th December with mulled wine and mince pies, local choir performance and general singsong in our Barn in Southwick.
- David volunteering to take young people out in a sailing boat for the first time to give them the opportunity to experience something they would otherwise never get the chance to do.
Although all funds raised by evolve will go to our local children, you will see from the foundation website (https://andrewsimpsonfoundation.org) that sailing clubs anywhere in the world can apply for a grant to support young people on the water. So, if you have a club near you, you may be able to help.
We will be supplying a steady stream of reports and photos following each event and we hope that you will feel able to support our efforts during the course of the year.