On Thursday 16th November Tollesbury based charity Fellowship Afloat Charitable Trust (FACT) received a bronze award in the ‘Best Children’s Project’ category at the Christian Funders Forum (CFF) Awards at Methodist Central Hall in Westminster.
FACT fought stiff competition to be short-listed at the annual awards which seeks to celebrate the great work done by grass roots organisations across the UK, especially as it was the first time the Best Children’s Project award had been given.
FACT is a residential floating outdoor activity centre in Tollesbury on the Essex coast – a unique place for adventure, relaxation and exploring the environment. Each year they welcome 1,750 children and young adults onboard to experience a life changing experience. While here they enjoy sailing, kayaking, the high ropes challenge, climbing wall and exploring the lightship Trinity. In the majority of cases the visitors, mainly school and youth groups, learn new skills, grow in confidence and self-esteem, form new friendships and better their team working skills.
“We were delighted to be nominated and it was fantastic to win an award” said Andrew Eastham, Chief Executive. “FACT is all about giving young people a life-changing experience that will be a memory for life. I am very proud of all the team at FACT including our volunteers who give up their time to support the work we do, our feedback forms evidence that we really do make a difference.”
Those who have benefitted from support include the children from Cedar Hall School in Benfleet who have been bringing children to FACT every year for the past 20 years. Deputy Head Nic Maxwell said
“There are several reasons we keep coming back. Firstly the general ethos of the centre is so friendly and welcoming that both pupils and staff feel very much ‘at home’. Staff relate so well to the variety of needs the pupils present, from the streetwise to the more fragile. Secondly Trinity is unique and its location idyllic. The sense of adventure begins the moment the pupils set eyes on the lightship! Thirdly the whole set up is run efficiently and safely. Pupils’ sense of adventure can be explored and pushed to their limit, whilst staff and parents can have peace of mind that safety is always paramount.”
Matt Bird, Chair of CFF said
“So much of the incredible work that goes on in our communities is largely unseen and mostly unrecognised. The Christian Funders’ Forum Awards are about putting the spotlight on the work of churches and charities whose volunteers live lives in the service of other people.”
Each year members of the Christian Funders Forum (CFF) give over £30million to Christian mission both in the UK and overseas. Some of the innovative projects funded by the member organisations over the past year were recognised at the awards ceremony in London on 16th November.
Picture shows – Andrew Eastham, Chief Executive (holding the award), Sarah Case, Funding Officer and David Hillyer, Trustee.