Over the weekend, 60 Ultra employees, invited guests and charities joined together in Weymouth to support Turn to Starboard on their sailing voyage from Cornwall to London, called ‘The Tudor Run’. The fleets 4-day stopover in Weymouth marked the start of a collaborative event, led by Ultra, in support of both Turn to Starboard and the Veterans Hub. These charities are open to Armed Forces personnel with physical or mental health challenges as a result of Service – or those experiencing isolation during the Covid-19 pandemic.
A reception evening kicked-off proceedings, focusing on some truly inspirational journey’s, which whilst travelling along individual paths, exposed many synergies that answered the ‘why’ this event ‘why’ these charities and ‘why’ it’s important for Ultra that we engage with and support our local communities – demonstrating Ultra’s mission to be a Positive Force. Special guest speakers gave inspiring speeches about the value of teamwork, overcoming adversity and turning negative situations in to a positive force.
“It was very emotional at times but so worthwhile on so many levels.”
Jane Higgins, Events and Fundraising manager, Turn to Starboard
During the course of the weekend, Ultra attendees experienced first-hand team building activities onboard the Ultra Armada, sailing three yachts and a Tall Ship (The Spirit of Falmouth) around Weymouth Bay. On day two, twelve participants from the Veterans Hub with varying degrees of physical or mental health challenges were given the opportunity of a day’s sailing onboard The Spirit of Falmouth. Some of those taking part have suffered with (self) isolation, caused by conditions such as PTSD, locking themselves away from the world for long periods (from weeks to years). To have the courage to take up that offer and step outside is a monumental feat. The Veterans Hub team underwent what this sailing experience is known to provide -elements that mirror the ethos of Armed Forces life, such as team cohesion, the challenge of adventure training and leadership skills as well as so much more…
“Unbelievable experience, the mixture of being on the water and chatting to like-minded people was worth more than any counselling session.” Sailing participant.
An important aim of this collaboration is for those in need to follow up with Turn to Starboard. By engaging in their activities, and becoming beneficiaries of the charity there is opportunity to move towards a successful future with their families. Turn to Starboard will support these individuals on a positive path, giving beneficiaries the chance of gaining Yachtmaster qualifications, and in doing so increase employment prospects.
The final day rounded off with a community focused event. Ultra and Veterans Hub families and friends were invited to visit the Turn to Starboard fleet and climb aboard The Spirit of Falmouth for a tour of the boat. Youngsters had the chance to find hidden treasure, make their own boat, dress up as a pirate and engage in some games along the way!
A shout out must go to the team of Ultra volunteers across the CEMS, Sonar, Energy and UltraLabs businesses who’ve supported this event, whether that be as part of the organising teams, donating equipment, attending the event and/or raising funds. ‘Thank you’ everyone!
We are so pleased to have the opportunity to support both Turn to Starboard and the Veterans Hub and hear several life-changing stories. It was a privilege to give back to the community through such a unique event with such impactful charities.
We look forward to more partnerships in the future!