I am delighted to advise you that we have achieved another important milestone in the organisational changes that we have been working through over the last few months. From the 1st July 2020 the responsibility for all aspects of Steamship Shieldhall’s operations, maintenance and funding become the sole responsibility of the new charity Steamship Shieldhall Charity. The new arrangements are governed by a formal agreement signed in June 2020 between the charity and the Solent Steam Packet Ltd as the shipowner.
I congratulate my fellow members of the Board of Trustees for successfully making this achievement happen. By accomplishing all of the tasks within the target time line they have created and implemented a new management structure and organisation. The style is appropriate for our immediate and future needs, taking into account our vision to keep Shieldhall working as a passenger carrying ship all the way through to the year 2050.
Keeping the ship afloat is not all about the paperwork , it is a joy to see our volunteers back working onboard maintaining essential and in some cases safety critical equipment. The work is being undertaken in small groups, complying with government rules, four days every week. Our volunteers’ commitment, enthusiasm and camaraderie is very special and much appreciated.
The cancellation of the 2020 sailing programme has created financial challenges and we thank those supporters that bought tickets and did not ask for a refund, preferring to donate or transfer funds to next year’s sailing programme. This generosity has helped our cash flow, thank you.
We are working with ABP Southampton to make improvements to allow public access to the ship whilst moored at Berth 110; before the end of the calendar year there may yet be an opportunity for you to step back onboard Shieldhall.
The 65 years old Shieldhall is starting another new chapter, on behalf of the Board of Trustees our thanks for your continuing interest and support.