Chrissie said, ‘My Husband and I moved to our much loved Dorset in 1986 from our previous home in Essex, opening our B&B, Bedford House on the Weymouth seafront.
Very soon after arriving, I booked a voyage with the Lord Nelson. By the time I disembarked in Weymouth, albeit shell shocked and exhausted, I was completely committed to volunteering for the Jubilee Sailing Trust, working to enable people living with disability, access to the sea. I started a Weymouth Branch and sought help from our Rotarians. It was very rewarding to fund berths for local people, and to witness how their lives were changed by the voyages. Instead of using ‘disabled’ we had moved into the World of ‘how to enable’. My commitment to the Jubilee Sailing Trust lasted 20 years.
My Husband sadly died and I was in the process of selling our Business, when I was invited by the then Chair of M.V.Freedom, to join their Management team. My initial reaction was ‘no thank you’, but my passion for people living with disability accessing the sea, soon had me onboard. Throughout the next nine years, I witnessed the joys and pleasure that the sea gave to so many of our special passengers. I have recently stepped down from the Chair of M.V.Freedom in the knowledge that I leave the Charity in an excellent position. I want to say an enormous Thank You to everyone involved with M.V. Freedom for your years of commitment and hard work. Your efforts have given an amazing gift to our Community.
At the time I joined M.V.Freedom, Captain Paul Compton, Chairman of the Merchant Navy Association, Weymouth, Portland and District, also contacted me. He invited me to become the Hon. Welfare Officer for the MNA, which I accepted once I had attended a SSAFA Caseworker training Course.
I had intended to ‘rest up’ a little having left M.V.Freedom, but was soon approached by the RNLI Weymouth Lifeboat Station, asking me to join them as their Management Group Chair.
I have accepted this invitation and have been given a warm and encouraging welcome from all the RNLI team. My previous years experiences, have honed my skills in management, welfare and fundraising, which I intend to put to good use for the RNLI. I have much to learn, but I am excited at the new challenges ahead. I look forward to working alongside such respected and committed Volunteers’.
In welcoming Chrissie to the station, Lifeboat Operations Manager Nicki Ayling said, ‘We are delighted that Chrissie has chosen to join the team at Weymouth lifeboat station. She brings a wealth of experience to the table from working with maritime charities and I have no doubt she will be an asset to the station’.