A grant of almost £7,500 has been awarded to a Darlington group providing support for veterans.
The Viking Boat Co CIC, formally known as Plane Sailing, was awarded £7,473 from the Darlington Covid-19 Fund, set up by Darlington Borough Council in partnership with the County Durham Community Foundation (CDCF) during the pandemic to help local voluntary and community organisations providing support to vulnerable people across the borough.
Councillor Mike Renton, the council’s cabinet member for stronger communities, said: “This grant represents the last of the funds awarded from the Covid-19 Fund and is in recognition of the organisation’s support for veterans, particularly those who may have poor mental health.
“We are already committed to supporting service personnel and veterans through the Armed Forces Community Covenant and I’m delighted we’ve been able to support the Viking Boat Co’s work and have the opportunity to find out more about how it is helping our local veterans.”
Martin Langford, one of the directors of the Viking Boat Building co CIC, said: “We would like to thank the council and County Durham Community Foundation for supporting us with this funding.
“This will enable us to provide and install our IT system, office furniture, breakout room furniture, a fridge, personal protective equipment for staff and beneficiaries, as well as help update our website, literature, and a sum towards electricity costs.
“It will not only help keep the doors open, the lights on and the saws turning, but provide beneficiaries with an environment they can enjoy. In the space of a year our small group has come such a long way in realising a dream.”
The Viking Boat Co CIC was previously known as Plane Sailing for Heroes. Its roots stem from the Help for Heroes Woodshop at Phoenix House, Catterick, North Yorkshire and following its closure the staff and volunteers decided to carry on the good work on their own. The workshop in Barton Street, Darlington started to take shape at the beginning of 2022 and is now almost complete with the finishing touches being added to the welfare facility, to include a wheelchair accessible toilet.
Its main focus is to help veterans who may be struggling with illness, mental or physical and to learn about working with wood and will soon be welcoming veterans to the wood/boatshed to carry on work on a full-sized Viking longboat, based on the Roskilde design. Once complete the longboat will hopefully be sold to fund the business for the next boat build.
To find out more about the Viking Boat Co CIC visit www.planesailing.org