BOAT2ALASTAIR Gornall, Trustee of military charity SSAFA, will set off from Southampton Dry Stack on 25 July on a gruelling 1,600-mile journey round Britain in a powerboat.

The challenge, expected to take up to two weeks to complete, will raise vital funds for St Vincent’s, SSAFA’s care home for veterans on the Isle of Wight.

Alastair said: “We are hoping to raise £30,000 to pay for a new disabled bathroom at St Vincent’s. The cost of our adventure is being paid for by us, so all the money we raise will go to SSAFA.”

Modernisation required

Located in Ryde, St Vincent’s is home to 25 veterans from all three services. The Victorian building has been used to accommodate Servicemen and women since 1950 when it was opened as a home for those convalescing after World War Two.

The bathrooms have not been refurbished since the home’s last big renovation in the 90s and are now tired and in desperate need of modernisation.

Normandy veteran, Ron Crisp, aged 95, has been a resident at St Vincent’s for just over a year. He said: “St Vincent’s ex-Service connection is very important to me. I had supported SSAFA myself when I served, both donating and raising funds. SSAFA had a good name back then and still does now – I like the way they do things.”

With regards to updating the bathrooms, Ron remarked: “The bathrooms are old, just like me, and are in much need of a makeover.”

Alastair will be joined by friend, marine boat builder and engineer Adam Pethick; they expect to arrive back in Southampton on 4 August. 

Find out more about SSAFA at www.ssafa.org.uk

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The AFF’s Communications Administrator based at AFF HQ in Andover

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