Cornish sea cadets won’t miss out on the chance to get their feet wet this summer thanks to a fleet of new boats.
The new boats and equipment have been bought thanks to a donation from the Western Provident Association (WPA) Benevolent Foundation.
The commitment to Cornish sea cadets over the next five years will ensure that 141 local Sea Cadets have access to brand new equipment including three RS Fevas (a two person sailboat), two Topper Dinghies, two Topper Sails, 24 wet suits, 24 spray suits and other equipment needed to operate the vessels.
The donation also means the sea cadets main district boating station is relocating to Stitihians Lake, making access for cadets in the area even better.
The donation also covers the costs of maintenance, as well as training 117 volunteers who support cadets, plus a cadet bursary scheme so Cornish cadets can go sailing offshore.
On April 28 at Stithians Lake the Lord Lieutenant for Cornwall and Sarah Newton MP along with WPA representatives and sea cadets will attend a ceremony to bless the new boats, with cadets from the five Cornish units - Falmouth & Penryn, Penzance, St Austell, Truro and Padstow - taking to the water for their maiden voyage.
Charlie McEwan director of good causes for the Western Provident Association (WPA) Benevolent Foundation, who made the donation, said: "WPA Benevolent Foundation promotes healthy activity amongst the young and following the Sea Cadets performance at the Jubilee River Pageant last year, we were inspired to evolve a Cornwall project to develop the sailing centre at Stithians Lake and fund scholarships for cadets to experience a voyage offshore.
"This project goes beyond the Cornwall's 140 cadets by offering taster sailing days; the more I’ve learnt about Sea Cadets, the more I am in awe of the dedication of their volunteers.’
A spokesman for Cornish Sea Cadets said a big thank you to WPA for the "wonderful donation and commitment of support".
Adding: "It means more young people get the chance to learn new skills and make new friends. Sea Cadets meet each week, taking part in boating activities plus they can go on lots of adventure training courses subsidised by the charity."