This newsletter contains the latest information on the progress of the renovation of Chauncy Maples - about fundraising around the world, work in Malawi, and people living around Lake Malawi.
Peaceful transition in Malawi
His Excellency President Bingu Mathurika of Malawi died suddenly on April 5th and was succeeded by the vice president, Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda. Following the peaceful transition of government and the positive steps to improve the economic and political governance of Malawi, the British Government will appoint a high commissioner to Malawi and are taking steps to secure further aid.
Major gifts push project forward
Leading marine lawyers Holman Fenwick Willan have donated more than £60,000 in cash and £40,000 worth of pro bono services, making them our third Special Founder. They have also contributed their time and skills, especially in contractual and legal matters. Partner Matt Illingworth said: "HFW believe that this is a wonderful project which is pulling so many parts of the marine industry together. We are delighted to support this unique project to improve the lives of so many in Malawi."
Major brands are supporting the project. ZF, one of the world's leading makers of gearboxes, has generously donated the gearbox and engine controls worth £25,000, making them a Founder. The Ministry of Finance of Malawi have confirmed that the project will be exempt from import duty and fuel duty, and will not pay VAT on shipyard fees and services. This will save approximately half a million pounds, which means the renovation will happen quicker, and lives be saved sooner. Malawi will also benefit from foreign exchange, new tools and equipment.
We received a very strong response to our advertisement for an Executive Director based in Oxford. After great deliberations and interviews, Belinda Coote has been appointed. She brings with her vast experience having worked as Oxfam's Regional Director for southern Africa; and Chief Executive of Medical Aid for Palestinians, Latitude Global Volunteering and AMREF UK.
Belinda was a founder trustee and has stood down from the board in order to take up the post. Meanwhile in Monkey Bay, Ross Girdler is busy preparing for the next stage, making final technical drawings with naval designers from Naval Africa Durban.
Just text giving
For small donations, giving to Chauncy Maples is now as easy as picking up your phone. Just text 'CMMT01 £10' (or however much you wish) to 70070. The amount will be added to your phone bill or deducted from your credit. Tell all your friends to text today!
Significant grant to fight HIV in Malawi
A major grant has been awarded to us by the ITF Seafarers' Trust, which celebrated its 30th anniversary recently. We will receive £100,000 towards the renovation of the ship, and a further £20,000 for the prevention of HIV/AIDS among maritime and fishing communities. Tom Holmer of the Seafarers' Trust said, "We are very pleased to be involved with the Chauncy Maples." This makes them our second Special Founder.
Donations in kind are just as important to us. Amtico, international flooring experts, have generously donated 280 square metres of quality flooring - enough to cover all the working and accommodation areas. This is worth over £15,000, so Amtico becomes a Benefactor.
Pip and Laurence's Wedding
Pip Hobby and Laurence Hunt are getting married beside the River Thames in Oxford in May. They already have everything they need, so are asking their friends and family to donate to Chauncy Maples via Justgiving in lieu of presents. They hope to raise at least £500 which is enough to buy a laboratory microscope, a vital piece of medical kit to diagnose many tropical diseases such as malaria.
Raising funds for Chauncy Maples is a great way to get involved in the project. If you have a fundraising idea, we would love to know about it!
New faces at Chauncy Maples
We are delighted to present our new patron, Alan West, former First Sea Lord, Admiral Baron West of Spithead GCB DSC PC. His international profile is a tremendous boost to the project.
Two new trustees have joined the board of CMMT. Colin Hayton is taking the role of Chair after working at the highest levels of management in the National Health Service. Bob Grainger is Chief Operating Officer of Thomas Miller and is the second trustee to join us from our sponsor. Welcome aboard all!