Greenhook Fishing launches its first sustainable fishing boat by Armed Forces Veterans

Plymouth city charity Greenhook Fishing has launched the first of their sustainable fishing boats, the Geoffrey Rowe, from their boatyard in Richmond Walk, near Mayflower Marina in Plymouth.  

Greenhook Fishing is a charitable incorporated organisation that has been established to provide training and full-time employment in the boat building, fishing, and related industries.

The CIO works primarily, but not exclusively with ex-Services personnel who have fallen through the traditional resettlement net and have experienced difficulties in adapting to civilian life.

Greenhook Fishing recently held a naming ceremony for the Geoffrey Rowe and the launch of the fishing boat today is the next significant milestone for the charity. The launch marks the culmination of months of planning, training, and hard work by a team of Greenhook Fishing volunteers, which included ex-serviceman from the Royal Navy, Royal Marines, Royal Airforce and Army.

The team led by Workshop Manager Herbie Tancock, have fitted out the Geoffrey Rowe’s hull from scratch. The Hooker vessel, which is commonly recognised as a traditional Plymouth boat, is the first of hopefully several sail-powered boats to be fitted-out and launched in the city. The Geoffrey Rowe will be launched today alongside another completely refitted support vessel, Twilight.

Greenhook Fishing, established at Richmond Walk by Ex Royal Navy Chaplain Kenneth Bromage in 2014, is dedicated to building sustainable futures by creating co-operative based ventures in boatbuilding and fishing and creating long term skill and employment opportunities for those who participate.

Ken Bromage said “Today has been a hugely rewarding day for everyone who has dedicated their time and skills to the ongoing construction of our fleet of vessels. Alongside the physical projects here, we look to offer as holistic a service as possible to our participants, helping them to bring about real and lasting change in their lives.  Greenhook Fishing’s aim is to do this through employment within our co-operative based ventures and by creating positive engagement for our participants with their local communities”.

Ex- Serviceman John is one of Greenhook Fishing’s current participants. John, who found himself at a crossroads in life, has been actively involved with both the refitting of the Geoffrey Rowe and Twilight and is looking forward to redeveloping new skills as the project develops.

John explains the impact the venture has had on his life and future employment opportunities “Greenhook Fishing is my safe place. Every day represents a different challenge and I really enjoy working alongside my fellow volunteers. I am looking forward to the future”.

The future looks exciting for Greenhook Fishing as it hopes to continue to secure a new round of funding, including an imminent Crowdfunder appeal, to enable it transition to a series of self-sufficient co-operatives, including boat building, fishing, and using their comprehensive woodworking facilities for other related projects.

Steve Ward, interim CEO for Greenhook Fishing says “We are extremely keen to continue the amazing work of the charity and our participants and volunteers. We are now planning for the next phase of our cooperative based ventures to permit us to create both employment prospects and sustain our programme for new participants who are ready for a fresh chapter and new opportunities”

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