Intrepid fundraisers to sail Norfolk Broads in a ShelterBox

Members of the Rotary Club of Watton and District will sail the Norfolk Broads in a ShelterBox 

Members of the Rotary Club of Watton and District will sail the Norfolk Broads in a ShelterBox - Credit: Rotary Club of Watton and District

Over the years, tens of thousands of people have sailed on the Norfolk Broads, enjoying a jewel in the nation's crown.

But how many have done so in a box which would usually carry essential supplies for those hit by disaster?

Members of Watton Rotary Club have been making a boat from a ShelterBox

Members of the Rotary Club of Watton and District have been making a small boat from a ShelterBox - Credit: Rotary Club of Watton and District

While the number is undoubtedly very low, it is set to rise considerably as four intrepid fundraisers take on an innovative challenge. 

Having supported ShelterBox for almost 10 years, Paul Weatherill and a team from the Rotary Club of Watton and District will sail 40 miles in three days aboard a unique, homemade vessel. 

At the core of their creation, named 'Green Light', is an iconic green box which will carry them from Great Yarmouth via Braydon Water to Norwich. 

Members of the Rotary Club of Watton and District will sail the Norfolk Broads in a ShelterBox 

Members of the Rotary Club of Watton and District will sail the Norfolk Broads in a ShelterBox - Credit: Rotary Club of Watton and District


You may also want to watch:


Along the way they plan to speak to locals and holidaymakers about ShelterBox, raising awareness of the charity and collecting donations in the process.  

Mr Weatherill, who, by his own admission, is far from a professional sailor, said: "I was inspired when I read a book about a man who crossed the Atlantic in a modified Jeep called 'Half-Safe'. 

Most Read

"Just because we haven’t tried it before doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

Members of Watton Rotary Club have been making a small boat from a ShelterBox

Members of Watton Rotary Club have been making a small boat from a ShelterBox - Credit: Rotary Club of Watton and District

"We’re all of the mentality that it’s good to have a go and try new things – and even better when it’s to support a cause we’re passionate about."

Founded in Cornwall back in 2000, ShelterBox has supported two million people impacted by conflict and disaster. 

Watton Rotary Club has offered its own support for almost ten years as part of the charity’s project partnership with Rotary International.

Members of Watton Rotary Club have been making a boat from a ShelterBox

Members of Watton Rotary Club have been making a boat from a ShelterBox - Credit: Rotary Club of Watton and District

Since coming up with their madcap scheme, the team of four have been designing, building and testing the craft on the water.

And their efforts have caught the eye of ShelterBox patron, The Duchess of Cornwall, who backed the brave voyage in a letter to the mid Norfolk club. 

She said the fundraiser "will make the most enormous difference to people who have, tragically, been made homeless by disaster and conflict, and I should like to thank each of you from the bottom of my heart."

To donate ahead of the challenge, taking place from August 7 to 9, visit justgiving.com/fundraising/paul-weatherill.

Members of Watton Rotary Club have been making a small boat from a ShelterBox

Members of Watton Rotary Club have been making a small boat from a ShelterBox - Credit: Rotary Club of Watton and District


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter
Comments powered by Disqus