An update from the Chairman and Trustees. It has been very difficult to write this, in fact I’d intended to do this as a video.

But that just felt much, much harder. It is with much regret that I have to report, the trustees and l have decided that after 8 years of hard work, the time has come for the 50001 Youth Training Trust to come to an end.

We’ve been trying valiantly, however unfortunately over the last few years, whilst dealing with the COVID pandemic has seen us struggling. We’ve had a much more limited income and a reduction in volunteer availability.

Personally this project was my dream, and it’s hit me hard having to admit defeat. But we as a trust have to be realistic. We have a responsibility not only to Rotary Service and the local community, but to you our donors and supporters also.

The cost of living has increased significantly for everyone, this means it is harder for the public to continue to support us. We are in a position where we feel we cannot feasibly complete the vessel with volunteer labour alone.

As such we have been investigating having some, or all of the work carried out professionally, as part of this we’ve had verbal estimates of approximately £300k to complete Rotary Service.

But unfortunately we’ve not been able to get any official written quotations, which is a requirement for us to seek grant funding. Without grant funding we the trustees feel that this project is not financially viable.

We now have to begin the difficult process of finding a secure new home for Rotary Service. After all the effort we have put into her, and the support we’ve received we will not allow her to be scrapped.

We are keen to discuss options that will see her put to sea again by others who may be in a better situation to make this happen, or otherwise other means of her being preserved so the public can enjoy her and she can preserve the memory of her former crew and the shipbuilding heritage of Lowestoft.

On behalf of the trustees and myself I cannot thank each and every person who has had any involvement in our cause enough, be it a donor, supporter, volunteer or even those who have offered advice. I am so grateful for all the assistance we have received since I first started the trust in 2014.

Thank you so much for your support.