The announcement was made this morning at Cutty Sark Gardens in historical Maritime Greenwich, and as a part of Seafarers Awareness Week. Cllr Mick Hayes, Mayor of the Royal Borough of Greenwich, was joined by representatives from Seafarers UK and the Sea Cadets to mark the agreement,
Nigel Shattock, Director of Fundraising at Seafarers UK, said: “I am delighted that Seafarers UK has been chosen as charity partner for the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival, along with the Sea Cadets. Our support for seafarers young and old has an almost century-long connection with Greenwich’s own tradition of naval training and welfare support for seafarers. It is a partnership that continues to this day, with our funding of the Seafarers Advice & Information Line (SAIL), a crucial service for modern-day British seafarers delivered by Greenwich Citizens Advice Bureau.”
Martin Coles, CEO of the Sea Cadets, said: “We’ve been taking part in the tall ships races, in the Flagship TS Royalist, since 1971 and we’re delighted to now also be part of this crowd-pulling event in the home port of Greenwich. As charity partner with Seafarers UK, it’s a great opportunity to show London what Sea Cadets can do and to give young people the experience of a lifetime.”
The two leading maritime charities, Seafarers UK and Sea Cadets, have been chosen for their work in supporting both the maritime community at large and young people seeking new skills. As part of the festival, a number of young people from Greenwich are also being given the chance of a lifetime to crew on some of the tall ships that are taking part in the Tall Ships Regatta from Falmouth to Greenwich.
One such person is Samantha Town who attends Thomas Tallis School. She would have been unable to take part in the Regatta without the financial support offered by Greenwich Hospital.
Samantha said: “I am really hoping that this trip will give me the self-confidence needed to make friends if I get to university, or else to pursue a career in the maritime sector.” Councillor Denise Hyland, Leader of the Royal Borough of Greenwich said: “The Royal Borough of Greenwich would like to thank Seafarers UK and Sea Cadets for becoming our official charity partners. Their support is vital to ensuring that this is one of the most successful events to date. Playing host to London’s first Regatta for 25 years will provide us with a fantastic opportunity to boost the local economy even further as the Tall Ships sail past our historic maritime landmarks including the Old Royal Naval College and Cutty Sark. It will also provide opportunities for local young people to gain new skills as they experience life sailing on the high seas. We cannot wait to play host to this event and are looking forward to September.”
From 5-9 September, the Royal Borough of Greenwich will be hosting the first Tall Ships Regatta since 1989. Over 50 Tall Ships from around the world will be moored along the Greenwich shoreline with daily sails up the River Thames to London Bridge.