Coronavirus - SSFT Update 1

Another day, another set of Government guidelines!

Following the Prime Minister’s broadcast last night (23rd) we will effectively be closing the ship for all but essential safety work, and any activity will follow guidelines on distancing etc. Pete Gillet, the ship’s manager, will be in charge.

The ship will definitely not be opening at Easter – in fact we have no idea at this stage when, or even whether, we will be able to open to the public this year. This will have many implications for us, little of it good. With the education system in shut down – again for an unknown period – our visits to and from schools are on hold, the engineering kits for which we received grants from Tesco and Braunton Rotary may not be deployed for some time and our maritime careers events will be put on hold. The relationships we have built up within education, business and industry will remain, but progress on a number of projects will stall. Visitors to the ship not only give us valuable feedback on what we are doing, but also provide vital donations – so this too will be lost, potentially creating financial challenges for us.

On a wider front we intended to use 2020 as the year to develop the Trust, our range of skills, our fundraising and start the transformation from being Trustees who not only decide what needs doing, but also do it, to taking more of a governance role. Maybe 2021!

What we ARE going to do is to look after our volunteers with regular ‘phone calls and help where needed. We ARE going to continue to polish our next grant application for viability and economic studies, and we are talking to the Lottery about this. We ARE going to use the down time to catch up on ‘back office’ work like reviewing our Policies. We ARE going to plan for the day when normality returns so that, as far as possible, we are in good shape to continue the excellent progress we have made to date.

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