28th March 2021. As part of a national charity providing a lookout service at over 50 locations along the coast, NCI Portland Bill, keeps an eye on vessels in the Portland area, as well as walkers and climbers. The lookout at the Bill is operated and maintained by a team of over 70 highly trained volunteers and is open every day of the year (except Christmas Day). It is totally reliant on the generosity of local people for donations to fund its operation, receiving no public funds at all, and this operation is under threat right now because fundraising activities have been curtailed as a consequence of the pandemic. Just keeping the watch station open on a day-to-day basis cost several thousands of pounds a year. Local people have historically been extremely generous and have supported the station with social events, donations into collection boxes etc.
On Saturday 10th April, the younger members of Weymouth Sailing Club will step up to help by undertaking a sponsored walk to raise funds for both NCI Portland Bill and their own sailing activities with any money raised being split equally between the two charities. The walk will start at the NCI Lookout near Portland Bill and participants will walk either to Portland Marina or the full course to Weymouth Sailing Club on North Parade. The walker’s range in ages from 8 to 17 years old and all necessary precautions will be in place to ensure full compliance with Government guidance in force at the time regarding Coronavirus.
Weymouth Sailing Club supports the training of its youngest members through its youth division (YOBs or Youths on Boats), and its leader Steve Staple said, “It is important to support the local community, and Coastwatch look after all those sailing near Portland Bill”. Roger Harrington of the NCI added, “It’s fantastic to see the effort being made by these youngsters and the support given by the sailing club. We rely totally on the generosity of the public to continue our important service which is helping to protect peoples’ safety along the coast. This is fantastic recognition from the youngsters of Weymouth Sailing Club, especially as many smaller local Charities own fundraising has been severely curtailed over the last year as a result of restrictions on social gatherings. Thank you”