Wetwheels

2012-wet-wheels-90.jpgWetwheels Goes Online:
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Wetwheels’ visit to Jersey over the 2012 Boat Show weekend was a huge success. Eighty disabled islanders of all ages, parents and carers were treated to trips which included fishing, exploring the south coast and even piloting the craft at high speed. The reaction and feedback was beyond imagination. Members of the following charities were welcomed on board:

  • MS Society of Jersey
  • Jersey Sports Association for the Disabled
  • Jersey Mencap
  • Earsay (formerly Jersey Deaf Childrens Society)
  • Mont a L’Abbe School
  • Autism Jersey

The feedback was unanimous in its enthusiasm and positivity. The excitement and joy of the passengers was immeasurable and we realised immediately that Jersey was lacking a similar offering. Subsequent discussions with Geoff Holt, Sir John McColl and industry leaders confirmed our view that Wetwheels Jersey would be of considerable benefit to every charity and community group in the island. More importantly, there are no age or disability limitations to being a passenger, meaning that in theory every islander can enjoy the Wetwheels experience.


The Project Team

The team has been carefully selected to ensure successful delivery. Every member of the team has a proven track record in project delivery, fundraising and maritime operations and have significant influence in political, diplomatic, charity and corporate arenas.

  • His Excellency, Sir John McColl KCB, CBE, DSO
  • Geoff Holt MBE
  • Andrew Le Seelleur, Chairman, Le Tournoi
  • John Hanley, Vice-Chairman, Le Tournoi
  • Allan Watts, Orchid Communications
  • Matthew Robins, CEO, Webreality
  • Howard Le Cornu, former HM Coastguard
    and Harbourmaster
  • Deputy James Baker
  • Will Carnegie, MD, Jersey Sailing

Beneficiaries

2012-wet-wheels-120.jpgThere really are no barriers to enjoying Wetwheels and we envisage that practically every charity, community group and young person will be able to sail on her. The bespoke design makes wheelchair access and security simple and the open deck layout ensures safety and comfort for all passengers.

Parents and carers will also benefit from Wetwheels as it gives them valuable respite during trips. Groups such as The Princes Trust, The Scout Association and Jersey Youth Service will also be welcome to use Wetwheels. We believe that Wetwheels Jersey is one of the widest-reaching and beneficial projects in Jersey for a number of years.


Project Costs

We have obtained a formal quotation of £153,000 for the boat, engines and all ancillary equipment (see attached appendix). The total project fundraising target over the next three years will be £275,000 which will cover a number of years of operational costs plus initial PR and marketing expenditure. The full amount will not be required in order to place the order as fundraising will continue as the boat is being built.

Timetable for Delivery

We are in direct contact with the manufacturers and engine suppliers. Placing the order is dependent upon securing sufficient funds to pay a deposit and estimated delivery is nine months after the order is placed. The current plan is to officially launch the service at the 2013 Jersey Boat Show, with delivery of the Jersey craft in the summer.


Fundraising

2012-wet-wheels-10.jpgOrchid Communications have been engaged on a commercial basis to plan and project manage the fundraising and PR workstreams. A full fundraising plan has been drafted and is attached as an appendix to this application. The main targets for funds will be high net worth individuals, corporates, grants and fundraising initiatives. We believe that this initiative will be compelling to a number of wealthy residents and the fact that it will benefit every good cause will increase the likelihood of their support.

Additionally, charities have indicated they would be willing to donate funds and also pay to use Wetwheels as it is not always about lack of funds but a lack of opportunity which prevents them from participating. Geoff Holt is also campaigning for funds to support the Jersey initiative from UK benefactors such as the Disability Powerboat Trust.


Conclusion

Wetwheels Jersey is an immensely exciting and ambitious initiative and will provide a much needed solution to giving every charity and community group the chance to get to sea. With the backing of pre-eminent figures including the Lieutenant Governor and Geoff Holt, we are confident of the success of the project.

It is difficult to summarise this exciting project in such a short proposal but more details are available upon request.