Build a Boat Project
A collaborative project between Cornwall Marine Network (CMN) and Devon and Cornwall Housing (DCH), the Build a Boat Project sought to make a significant difference to the knowledge and opportunities of the residents of the Treneere Estate in Penzance (including local school students) to engage with the marine sector.
The aim of the project was to enable those involved to discover exciting career options that being part of a coastal town can offer through employer-led marine careers advice and skills development whilst fostering a sense of belonging within the community through shared activity for a common goal, reinforcing the social fabric of the local area.
Over the course of a five- week period, (end May- end June, 2016), this ambitious project erected a highly visible temporary boat building training centre on the Treneere Estate. Cornwall Marine Network created a tailored but flexible programme that encouraged residents to become involved in boat building activities. Participants learnt new skills and boat building techniques including the building, preparing and finishing of two 7’6 (2.3m) ply wooden boats for ongoing community use. Furthermore, participants learnt softer outcomes such as team work, communications and work ethic.
The boats that were built served to create a community focus for a ‘grand boat launch’ event, enabling those involved in the boats construction to celebrate and see the efforts of their work on the water whilst creating roles and opportunities for others to participate in the planning and celebration, furthering community involvement.
151 participated, guided by the Cornwall Marine Network team. The boats were gifted to the local community. More than 200 residents attended the launch event, including 40 children gaining their first experience in a boat, despite living on the coast. One resident said: “it is the best thing that happened on this Estate in over 10 years.”