A photo of WetWheels Charity boat with staff and passengers docked at a marina.

Maritime UK Solent seeks new charity partner for 2023 awards

Maritime UK Solent has launched its search for a new charity partner to support the 2023 Maritime UK Solent Awards and the Solent region’s maritime industry.

The Awards, launched on Tuesday 2 May, will partner with a maritime-based charity in the region to showcase their services and the impact they make to others in the community. This is an incredible opportunity for a local charity to celebrate their staff and volunteers, boost awareness in the local area and forge new connections.

The Wetwheels Foundation was the charity partner of last year’s Maritime UK Solent Awards. Founder Geoff Holt MBE DL said the support it received made a big difference in raising awareness of the charity’s inspiring work, enabling disabled people to enjoy the open water barrier-free.

Speaking at the launch of the Awards, Geoff said: “Wetwheels was honoured to be chosen as Maritime UK Solent’s first charity partner and being part of the Maritime UK Solent Awards helped us to share who we are and what we do.

“Behind me is a whole team working hard to make it possible for disabled people to access the sea in a safe, stimulating and rewarding way on board Wetwheels’ specially-built powerboats – so it was a massive pat on the back for them.”

“Our partnership with Maritime UK Solent was a wonderful opportunity to share our story and regional presence with both existing and new supporters. We benefited from building strong links in the community and with businesses in the Solent.”

Anne-Marie Mountifield, Chair of Maritime UK Solent, said: “We were delighted to have supported the Wetwheels Foundation as our charity partner last year and to hear from Geoff that the charity has benefited so well from the collaboration.

“It is heartening to learn that Wetwheels has supported thousands of disabled people from the Solent region and across Britain by giving them the unique opportunity to access the sea on board their boats, which builds confidence and improves mental and physical wellbeing.

“Our relationship with Wetwheels will continue long beyond their official status as charity partner. We are now excited to be searching for a charity partner for 2023 and look forward to receiving applications from marine-based charities or people wishing to nominate one.”

The chosen charity will receive a large amount of promotional support, including a press release announcing them as the charity partner, social media messaging throughout the year, and articles in Maritime UK Solent’s online magazine.

At the Awards event on 5 October, the charity partner will receive:

  • Two free tickets for the event
  • The opportunity to give a presentation about their work
  • A premade film to be shown about them and their work
  • An opportunity for a charitable collection to be made

For more information and to apply to be this year’s charity partner or to nominate a regional maritime charity, visit our Charity Partner application page. Applications close on 30 June. 

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