Mercury Old Boys Surplus Funds reallocated

December 20, 2023

In 2019 the Association, using its surplus funds, awarded a donation of £12,000 the Hamble Sea Scouts as a major contribution to allow them to purchase a seagoing yacht for use by the Scouts. Early in 2023 we were advised, by their leader that, following the lockdowns and for other undisclosed reasons, they were not able to use the yacht Spirit of Mercury as intended, had sold it and our money returned. We offered them the opportunity to use the money to purchase one or more smaller craft but, it transpired, this was not needed.

Obviously we have no wish to sit on such a large sum of money at this stage and therefore have sought a suitable alternative.  Through my former career, in the maritime charity sector, I had visited the UK Sailing Academy in Cowes on the Isle of Wight;  This is a registered charity that has two strings to its bow – both, to an extent, aligned with the aims of Mercury.  Firstly they provide opportunities for youngsters, many from disadvantaged backgrounds, to experience waterborne activities, including sailing, kayaking and team building.  Secondly they provide pre-sea training for youths looking for a career in the large yacht sector, where they provide a comprehensive package of the skills needed, following which they then help them with their first placements.  That sector, often under recognised, now provides excellent career opportunities and employs large numbers of UK seafarers.  Our small committee have unanimously agreed that this Academy provides a perfect solution.

We have now agreed with UKSA to cover the cost of three Fushion dinghies at a cost of £11,250 – see;  They will include the name Mercury on all three boats and also include a post in their newsletter and on social media announcing our generous support, alongside acknowledgement in their annual report. We plan to attend the naming ceremony and will keep you advised.  In conclusion their positive response and professionalism is really welcome and I know that ex members of the Association will support this decision.  Once these boats have been purchased, we will inform you all along with the date of the naming ceremony.

David Parsons Chairman, Former MOBA Administrators