Coronavirus - SSFT Update 2

An update on the last day of March – 1st April (April Fool’s Day) might not be the best day to pick!

We have now closed the ship to all but emergency and safety work – ensuring watertight integrity and mooring lines. We have contacted the Police to explain our intention to visit with a maximum of two people at a time for those purposes – maintaining distancing as required - and they have confirmed that our proposed action is agreeable.

It is clear from the latest Government statements that we could be in some form of lockdown for perhaps as long as six months, so we have decided to postpone the AGM in June. If we are able to hold one at a later date we will ensure that all Members are informed as soon as possible.

As was stated in a previous post, we intended to use 2020 as a development year for the Trust – and we still intend to do this within the limitations with which we all have to work. We are setting up video conferencing to continue meetings, but not as we knew them! We have been very fortunate to be joined by Annemarie Shillito, who has a great deal of fundraising ability, to help us develop and refine our skills. She has agreed to help on a voluntary basis until there is a project on which she can work. Charlotte’s contract as project manager has been extended until 30th June

We have officially extended the Our Heritage Lottery grant end date from 10th April to 10th July, but the Lottery have agreed that we can bring that date forward on request. What that means in practice is that as soon as Charlotte (Project Manager) and Mike Blackman (Project Analyst) have finalised the end of grant reports, we can close the grant, submit the reports and await payment of the grant balance.

Victoria Symes of Impact Fundraising, continues to help us refine our next Lottery application, taking account of any new guidance from the Lottery office. We are maintaining regular contact with volunteers and involving them as much as possible in everything we do. We also offer support and advice wherever we can.

There is no question that the Covid 19 closedown is going to adversely impact our financial position. We attract contributions from visitors to the ship, giving talks, holding events and other activities that are just not going to happen this year. We are financially stable at the moment but we will be monitoring all expenditure closely to husband our resources. We are very fortunate to have a number of Members who regularly donate on a monthly or quarterly basis and their continued help is hugely appreciated.

Despite the situation we remain resolutely optimistic and continue to work towards the day when normality returns! We hope everyone stays well and safe!

Good News! Just as this post was being completed we heard from the Lottery that our recent Awards for All application - to upgrade welfare facilities on the ship and related costs – has been SUCCESSFUL! We will receive £10,000 over the next few weeks to cover these costs. A great boost!