Group Leader's Briefing

These notes are designed to help you enjoy and make the most of your visit to Fellowship Afloat.

Our Residential Centre

Trinity, our floating base is moored on the East Coast. It is the ideal activity venue for individuals, youth clubs, schools, churches, people with special needs and those wishing to gain RYA qualifications. The lightship has accommodation for 36 people in 2, 4 and 5 berth cabins. Capacity is soon to be increased to 48.

Organisation & programme design

It is essential that, prior to the visit, group leaders think seriously about their expectations and requirements for the booking and communicate them to FACT. The programme can then be tailormade to suit your group.

We offer a wide range of activities, such as sailing, powerboating, archery, climbing, raft building, team-building exercises, wide games and other sports. One primary factor to be considered is the tide times, as these affect our water activity schedules.

Dinghy sailing usually commences in March and finishes at the end of October. All water activities are run according to the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) guidelines for teaching and safe practice.  We offer the full range of dinghy and powerboat courses.

Many recreational weekend groups do not follow our RYA Certificate course although basic instruction is always given.

All visitors are welcome to participate in the Christian life of the Centre.  Sometimes group leaders provide the spiritual input – other times we will take the lead. Typically, we have a ‘thought for the day’ at breakfast and a service on Sundays. Please talk with us before your visit to discuss the requirements of the spiritual programme.

Each morning the FACT staff team and accompanying leaders meet together in the ‘Lookout’ to discuss the day’s programme, what you hope to achieve from the day and who will be responsible for each activity. We also share a brief ‘thought for the day’ and a few informal prayers.

Arrival and Welcome

On arrival, we will meet you in our car park and assist you with your luggage for the five minute walk to Trinity; please ‘phone 01621 868113 (office) or 01621 869779 (centre) as you arrive in the village. After settling everyone in, we will have introductions and talk through the rules of the centre and safety aspects.

Suggested kit list (Bring in a soft bag)

  • Sleeping bag
  • 2 towels
  • Warm jacket
  • Indoor and outdoor shoes
  • Warm jumpers /sweatshirt
  • Hat/scarf/gloves (for cold weather)
  • At least one complete change of clothes
  • Wash kit
  • Nightwear  Wellies

For water-based activities

  • Soft-soled shoes e.g.trainers
  • Tracksuit trousers or leggings (NOT jeans)
  • Plenty of warm layers
  • A woolly hat or cap / gloves  Sun cream

Responsibility

During your stay, you will be looked after by both permanent and seasonal volunteers, all of whom are trained and familiar with life on board and the various specialist activities.

Appropriate personal checks, which include a DBS Enhanced Disclosure, are made on all new staff and volunteers.

While at FACT, you are responsible for the care, safety, control and discipline of your group, particularly at night - though centre staff are always available. This includes administration of any medication or application of creams such as sun lotion.

Responsibility for various parts of the programme or times in the day, may be delegated to group leaders - this would be agreed by prior arrangement.

Smoking and the consumption of alcohol are not permitted on board.

Meal Times

You are invited to sit, along with our staff, amongst the group at meal times. We always wait for everyone to arrive before starting: one of our staff will organise the saying of grace and introduce the serving arrangements.

After the meal, any notices will be announced. We encourage everyone to remain at the table until this point.

Please ensure any special dietary requirements are advised to us before your visit.

Daily Jobs

FACT thrives on enthusiastic participation of visitors and meal times are a focus for some essential but simple tasks:  Laying tables for the meal

  • Washing-up (with a dishwasher to assist)
  • Vacuum cleaning the saloon
  • Removing any rubbish and bringing back a few consumables to the centre. We will organise the rota and look for the full support of accompanying staff.

Personal Belongings & Pocket Money

We discourage the use of mobile phones, MP3 players and iPods etc on board: apart from the obvious distraction, they could easily get lost or broken.

We have a small souvenir shop onboard, items starting from 30p. We also have Trinity garments: T-shirts, baseball caps and hoodies, these range from £6.00 - £25.00. Sweets and drinks can be purchased in the village.

Programme Evaluation

We are constantly striving to improve and develop the group experience we offer. At the end of your stay, we will ask you to fill in and return to us a feedback form with any comments and suggestions for the future.

Bursary fund

Fellowship Afloat is committed to serving people whose financial means are limited. Our Bursary Fund is an easy and available way to enable such people to enjoy a residential course onboard.

Do ask the office for details, which include a simple application form.

On-board Facilities

  • Toilets & Showers. In addition to the toilets and showers for children, there is a single toilet and shower for the use of group leaders.
  • Bedding. Foam pillows and pillow cases are provided for each individual.
  • Tea & Coffee. Always available in the galley.
  • Washing machine & drying room. Available for visitors - see a staff member for instructions.
  • Presentations. Projector, TV, Video, DVD & CD player, whiteboard, OHP and flipchart are available for teaching sessions. Please note: FACT does not supply other stationery materials.
  • WiFi. There is WiFi throughout the ship for the use of group leaders. Please ask a staff member for details.

Trinity3 Development

Our Trinity3 development is reaching its final phase. Having created extra meeting spaces, new washrooms and a new stairwell through the lighttower atrium, this final phase will increase residential capacity and provide new cabins with improved accessibility.

For details on these developments visit the Trinity3 page on our website.