COLLEGE bosses in South Tyneside have given a lifesaving maritime organisation a home berth.
The Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) Northumbria Unit is just setting up in the region and is part of a national charity, with more than 30 units across the country.
But months of searching had failed to come up with a suitable place to meet.
Now, thanks to a meeting with South Tyneside College’s principal, Lindsey Whiterod, the unit has been allocated a weekly classroom at the college, from where they can train members and learn new skills.
Each unit trains its members in valuable maritime skills for both afloat and ashore, that can be called upon by the community in times of emergency.
MVS members are trained in handling boats, seamanship, basic marine engineering and operational support skills, including radio and telephone communications, all of which can be put to good use in times of natural disaster or emergency.
Head of unit Nigel Campbell said: “Despite only starting the unit in the summer, it has a number of people involved and members right across the region, from Ridsdale in the North to South Shields and Sunderland in the South. We are delighted at the hospitality South Tyneside College has afforded us and look forward to helping it in whatever way we can.
“As a uniformed organisation, the MVS has a real part to play in the community. We have a proud history, formed from the ashes of the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service with a training programme second to none. I’d recommend anyone who is interested in boats and maritime activities to visit us; you don’t need any previous experience.”
The unit meets every other Wednesday at 6pm at South Tyneside College in Room G204.