Chatham Maritime Trust supports the local community through events, grants and sponsorship

Chatham Maritime Trust is a registered charity, whose charitable objects are primarily concerned with the wellbeing of the Chatham Maritime Estate, including its landscaping, environment, infrastructure, flood protection and amenities.

In addition, the Trust’s objects cover the provision (directly or indirectly) of recreation and leisure facilities for the Chatham Maritime Estate and its neighbourhood, the Medway Towns, and others who conveniently make use of them, and provision for the education and assistance of the young and other members of the Medway Towns community in order to develop their physical, mental and spiritual capacities.

To this end the Trust maintains a Community Fund, which it uses to support these additional community objectives.  This support can be by direct organisation of activities, or by way of a grant to others to provide these activities.  Please note that the charity is restricted by its constitution to certain activities in support of the population of the Medway Towns.     

The Community Fund has limited resources; consequently, preference is given to initiatives that support the immediate community. Any sums that are not used in the financial year are carried over.

All grant applications are considered by a panel of Trustees referred to as the Charities Activity Group.   The Trust aims to support a number of different groups and activities and should not be seen to be supporting the same organisation year on year. For further information and an application form click on the links at the bottom of the page.  As a guide  applications will be considered if: 

  • the application comes from a registered charity, organisation or companies or groups that are active in the community.  Newly formed groups will need to demonstrate a genuine community benefit.  Applications from individuals or large national organisations  are not normally considered nor will the Trust supplement revenue funding.
  • Applicants need to demonstrate their proposal fits the objects detailed in the Community Fund Grant Policy – Terms & Conditions as below and demonstrate clear measurable outcomes.
  • The proposal must benefit the population of the Medway Towns.  Priority will be given to proposals that benefit the Chatham Maritime Estate, then the Estate community, then the adjacent areas.
  • All applications should be accompanied with budget information and the most recent set of accounts.  Supplementary information in support of the request is welcome.  Applications will receive a decision within 30 days of receipt.
  • Upon completion of the project/activity a final report should be submitted addressing the completion of the project deliverables and achievement of project goals.
  • If the application is successful and the applicant’s circumstances change the applicant must inform the Trust regarding any changes that relate to the purpose of the grant.  Chatham Maritime Trust will consider the change of circumstance but reserves the right to withdraw the award where appropriate.

Medway Youth Trust

The Trust has recently provided funding to Medway Youth Trust to support a three year training programme for fifteen vulnerable 21 year-olds on an educational trip to Colombia where they will work on a coffee farm, dairy and in a school. Although fifteen will directly benefit this year and for each of the next two years  the programme’s focus is on impacting as many young people in the Medway area as can be reached through post-trip activities carried out by the participants on their return.

These individuals will become ambassadors raising aspirations and widening horizons of their peers and will be encouraged to build on their experiences, influencing and motivating others to raise their own aspirations through a series of workshops, presentations, blogs, mentoring or as team leaders on future programmes within Medway Youth Trust and its partners.

The group of young people had a very emotional send-off; all were positive and excited and a little nervous about facing the unexpected. One of the youngsters had never even flown before. Prior to their departure the group managed to raise £21,004 of their £22,400 target. The group of young adults have been nominated and chosen to win the first ‘Young People United’ award for diversity and team commitment. They had to make their acceptance speech whilst queuing with their luggage next to the airport coach; unfortunately they will miss the award ceremony as it takes place whilst they are in Colombia.

Feedback from the youngsters ” so posts here have been few and far between but rest assured that New Horizons are flying high on Colombian turf. Adventure, challenge, hard work, beautiful scenery, warm and fascinating people, deep conversations, bugs with glowing eyes, heavy downpours, lightning that lights up the sky, building rain covers, clearing trees, digging drains, salsa dancing, countless new fruits, delicious food, meeting inspiring people, making cheese, picking coffee, talking to school children in Spanish, playing Colombian volleyball, taking part in workshops that open our minds and hearts and teach us lessons we never imagined. New Horizons are doing it all. There are no words to describe it. New Horizons is New Horizons“.

“We even took to making a new bridge today to help the farm down the road from us who have a disabled child and elderly couple. the last one was broken by a bull. We stopped as it rained and then when the other group got back from the diary factory they told us the bridge had broken so we are going to have another go tomorrow”.
Shannon Waters

Chatham Maritime Trust Trustee, Deborah Sims, attended The New Horizons Graduation evening on 10th December 2015 which was held on the Medway University Campus; the event celebrated everything the participants had achieved on the programme and a chance to thank all the people who had supported them on such a unique journey.

Medway Youth Trust has three main goals – to prepare, improve and inspire giving every child in Medway the best chance of life and to ensure young people are learning and prepared for the future. This is achieved through a range of programmes, services and activities throughout the Medway towns. In January 2016 the Medway Messenger named Medway Youth Trust as its Charity of the Year for 2016.

Medway Youth Trust has won the NYA Hear by Rights Gold Award – this means that they are recognised for their outstanding youth participation activities in the community. For example, their Youth Forum is requested by the local authority, NHS and other organisations to represent the view of local young people.

Trust Funding 2015-16

The Trust has given support to various organisations/projects including the following:

  • £3,000 – Medway Youth Trust (Horizons – educational trip overseas)
  • £250  – The Crafting Table – Craft Group on St. Mary’s Island
  • £3,600 – Morning Star Trust (7 day sailing trip)
  • £3,000 – Nucleus Arts (community workshops for those with dementia)
  • £1,000 – Medway Street Pastors (operating in Rochester and Chatham)
  • £1,000 – Rochester & North Kent Music & Drama Festival Association (performing arts)
  • £300 – Try Angle Awards (recognising young peoples achievements in Medway)
  • £981 – GK Unions (Universities at Medway’s Student Union Varsity 2016)
  • £400 – St. Mary’s Island History Group Project (20 years of St. Mary’s Island)

More recently the Trust has supported the following organisations:

  • £1,500 – Lordswood U13s Football Team (sponsorship of kit for the 2016/17 season)
  • £3,190 – Chatham Marine Cadets Unit (equipment)
  • £2,500 – Rainham Cricket Club (funding towards the building of a new club house)
  • £1,650 to Morning Star Trust (a residential sailing weekend)
  • £2,500 to Medway Youth Trust (educational overseas trip)
  • £1,000 to St. John’s C of E Infant School (regeneration of play area)
  • £1,100 to Medway Sunlight Rotary (National Rotary Kids Day Out)
  • £823 to Music Man Project (Medway) (promotional material for new project )
  • £2,098 to 10th Medway Sea Scouts (for canoes and paddles)
  • £2,000 to Soccer Street Foundation (mentoring programme through football)
  • £625 to Young Lives Foundation (activity day/residential course and mentoring programme)
  • £3,000 to Dandelion Time (therapeutic programmes for Medway families)
  • £1,955 to Family Trust (practical money courses in local schools)
  • £3,000 to WetWheels Foundation (boat trips for disabled and disadvantaged people)
  • £1,000 to 1st St. Mary’s Island Rainbow, Brownie & Guide Unit (new programme material, badges, books etc.)
  • £1,000 to Chatham Royal Marine Cadets Unit (field kit)
  • £100 to Rivermead Inclusive Trust (community art project)
  • £1,500 to GK Unions (student well being programme)
  • £1,100 to Medway Sunlight Rotary Club (National Kids Day Out (from Medway School)
  • £1,000 to Living River Foundation (Litter Free Maritime campaign)
  • £1,100 to Medway Sunlight Rotary Club (National Kids Day Out (Medway children)
  • £2,040 for Morning Star Trust (voyage for Medway young people)

In the financial year 2018-19 Chatham Maritime Trust has supported the following organisations:

Soccer Street Foundation: a 10-week start-up programme for vulnerable people aged 18-24 in Gillingham. Two candidates who attended this programme secured their immediate futures, one was offered a traineeship and had an interview lined up and another made a real impression and was offered a job.

Medway Youth Awards. The event is a showcase for young people who achieve in difficult circumstances and encourage other young people to make positive choices; it also takes young people away from crime and anti-social behaviour.

Young Lives Foundation whose focus is all about making a difference to the lives of young people and improving outcomes for vulnerable people. Our funding provided: a young person placement on a YLF residential course; a young person placement on a 10-week mentoring programme and an activity day for a young person. YLF provide young people with the opportunity to participate in challenging and enriching activities so that they can broaden their horizons and develop life skills so they are able to make informed decisions.

The Family Trust who provide money management skills programmes in Medway primary schools in a fun and interactive way enabling children to learn about money at an early stage in their lives and make informed decisions to avoid problems later in life. This is particularly relevant in today’s debt-ridden society. This project was a great success; 53 schools were visited over the year with 99 classes involved and 2,820 completing all course sessions.

Dandelion Time provides farm-based therapeutic programmes for children and families affected by domestic violence, abuse, trauma and family breakdown. The Trust’s funding enabled support for 3 children and their families. Family A had experienced trauma and lifelong domestic abuse, the separation of the parents, a stressful court case and having to be re-housed. The programme enabled the re-building of relationships, the well-being of the family improved and they left with a new happier narrative and shared memories to shape their future. Family B had an acrimonious relationship, cultural issues affecting parenting and conflict which led to Police involvement. The therapeutic programs led to transformation of relationships and the experiences they had boosted self-confidence and emotional expression and created a brighter future for them. Family C involved a referred child that attended Dandelion Time sessions with both parents following a lifetime of trauma resulting from the violence of a family member, bereavement, addiction and mental health issues. The family engaged enthusiastically and the parents observed an improvement in their child’s confidence, communications with others and gained the ability to relax and have fun in a way that he was unable to before.

The three families who have completed the programmes have demonstrated a range of positive outcomes to boost their individual and collective well-being as well as the educational engagement of the children.

Wetwheels Foundation provides opportunities for disabled and disadvantaged people to access water in specially designed boats. The Trust’s funding meant that 144 individuals were able to enjoy an experience on the River Medway and they received fantastic feedback from both groups and individuals. Some of the organisations that participated were: Carers First, Aztec Day Services, MS Society Medway Group and Age UK Medway.

St. Mary’s Island Rainbow, Brownie and Scout Unit received funding for the provision of up-to-date material, i.e. books, activity cards etc. as effective September 2018 the Girl Guiding Unit had the biggest overhaul in its history, revamping its iconic badges and activities to create a programme which it hopes will appeal to ‘every girl’. Details of more than 800 badges and activities were designed to give the skills and experiences young women will need to thrive, succeeds, make positive changes and be happy in the modern world.

Chatham Royal Marines Cadet Unit Chatham. The grant enabled the purchase of much needed equipment particularly as some cadets are from challenging backgrounds /deprived circumstances which doesn’t allow them to contribute to the provision of equipment. The Unit has an aspirational policy of absolute equality and aim to provide all cadets with exactly the same opportunities and experiences. All cadets are treated equally whatever their background and circumstances and given the same training and opportunities. The grant ensures that Medway teenagers from challenging backgrounds will continue to benefit from the improved life chances offered by the Unit now and into the future.

Rivermead Inclusive Trust. A small grant was provided in support of a community arts project in Medway bringing people together and the monies raised from that will be given to 2 local charities and support the work of the RIT in three Medway schools – Walderslade Primary, Hoo St. Werburgh and Rivermead School. The Trust’s vision is to become a leader in providing excellence in teaching and learning through collaboration and partnership; it ensures that it is about ‘the complete person’ for all.

GK Unions on the Universities at Medway Campus. The funds given for this project “Give It A Go” focus on a programme of activities for the development and support of student wellbeing during the busy exam term. The events are driven by students and all activities are created to be diverse and inclusive to develop students’ physical, spiritual and mental capacities.

Chatham Maritime Trust also continues to support the provision of a Youth Leader for St. Mary’s Island Youth Club known as Castaways which is now thriving and has a healthy membership of some 70 Members deterring young people from anti-social behaviour and crime and provides a good networking unit for them. The dedication of the volunteers and support of the Youth Leader, Rodney Parr, Club Secretary & Administrator, David Taylor, should be recognized and acknowledged.  With their dedication and organization, the Club is able to provide a valuable Youth Club experience that is so very rate today.

Chatham Maritime Trust is also responsible for the organisation of the Food & Drink Festival held on the Chatham Maritime Estate which has become an annual fixture in the calendar and provides a great fundraising opportunity for other charities such as Medway Sunlight Rotary Club. The annual Dragon Boat Race which forms a focus of the 3-day festival has in fact become their main fundraising project. In 2018 this event raised over £15,000 for Rotary Children’s Hospice Holidays and local charities and over a five year period has raised over £50,000 for charity.

Since the start of the new financial year 2019-20, Chatham Maritime Trust has given its support to the following:

Medway Sunlight Rotary Club for National Kids Day Out.  This is the largest single outing for disadvantaged children in the UK.  Whether they live with critical health issues, in refuge or with a disability, children across the country are taken on a fun day out in this case to Chessington World of Adventures.

Some 35 children  from Year Six from Rivermead Inclusive Trust, Brompton Academy, Anchor Foster Care and Ausome and the event gave the opportunity to socialize and cement friendships.

Living River Foundation for Litter Free Maritime Project.  Living River Foundation is working with businesses and the local community to reduce the litter in the environment and promote fauna and wildlife.  Litter picks have been arranged on St. Mary’s Island and visits to different sites in the Estuary without disturbing the bird population there.



The project, supported by Chatham Maritime Trust and Marina Developments Ltd at Chatham, is gathering momentum and on the 29th November 2019 a trial litter boom was launched in Basin 1 by the Mayor of Medway, Councillor Habib Tejan, in an attempt to capture the difficult to collect litter that escapes into the environment.

The organisation offers cruises, talks, workshops and clean-ups.  for 2020 the Living River Foundation has partnered with Unravel and Unwind to provide a series of workshops to help reduce plastic and to help people in need.  In February 2020 they also reached out to the students on the Universities at Medway Campus by holding a Volunteer Conference encouraging students to find out more about what they do and how they can get involved.

The work of Living Rover Foundation  has featured in the local press as well as on BBC South East News, BBC Inside Out programme , ITV Meridian and on BBC Radio 4 so is getting good coverage.

Phase 1 of the project has been well received and is a great success; this year will enter Phase 2 with the installation of interventions across the site.

For information about the project and organisation take a look at their website.

Morning Star Trust for a short residential sailing trip during the UK Sail Training Small Ships Race in October 2019.  Twelve  young people, mostly from Gillingham Sea Scouts, were given the opportunity to be part of this sailing trip.


Morning Star Trust’s focus is to give young people who face isolation, mental health and deprivation inspiration to live life to the full.  Through sailing they promote life changing personal development inspiring the most vulnerable in society to give it a go and live life to the max.

The start of a new decade (2020) has brought a lot of changes to Morning Star Trust and they have taken the decision to move out of Chatham Maritime and find a new home.  They have a new operating base in Chichester Harbour and will be spending time operating out of Plymouth during the summer.  They are scheduled to leave the pontoon at Chatham Maritime by the end of February 2020.  It is a loss to the area but we wish the organisation continued success in its new location.

The Family Trust  for Wellbeing courses in Medway schools.  In 2018 Chatham Maritime Trust supported the organisation providing money management courses which were an overwhelming success.

In light of this the Trust was keen to support their Wellbeing Project which teaches school children what happiness is, what it isn’t – very appropriate when so many young people are seeking help for mental health issues.

1st St. Mary’s Island Rainbow & Brownie Unit  for Summer Camp 2020 equipment.  The annual camp experience teaches life skills and builds confidence when facing life challenges.  Most attendees are from St. Mary’s Island.

Swingate Primary School  for equipment and arts and crafts materials for their Home from Home Club which supports families struggling with child care and feeding their children.  The Club provides a safe and stimulating environment for educational and creative activities.  Funding used to buy new equipment and art and craft supplies providing numerous benefits to the students.

Café Plus at St. Justus Church for equipment for music therapy sessions for the older generation, targeting those with dementia and isolation.  The benefits of music therapy are well known, relieving stress, depression and improves confidence and self esteem and can turn lives around.

The music therapy sessions are already proving a great success; those that are not experiencing the best time in their lives leave with a smile on their face.  One individual with dementia, who struggled to engage emotionally, participated in the session by picking a song and singing it and everyone joined in.  There was a great sense of achievement and joy.

Brompton Academy for outdoor equipment, i.e. tennis table and associated equipment.  This will be used by community groups and students of Brompton Academy and the Eliot Centre – students with learning and behavioural difficulties.  This will encourage students to take up a new sport, encourage sportsmanship and teamwork and engage and encourage Eliot Centre students in particular to participate in a fun and safe sport.

WetWheels South East for river trips along the River Medway in 2020 departing from Chatham Maritime Marina targeting those that are disadvantaged or disabled.  The organisation targets those with profound disabilities providing them with an experience on the water which they would otherwise not have the opportunity to enjoy.

A Wetwheel fully adapted powerboat can take up to 12 vulnerable adults and children with 3 wheelchair  users.  This is unique as it gives the individuals active participation – they can steer the vessel, learn seamanship or just experience being on the water.

Young Lives Foundation providing funds for those in care or who have just come out of care to enjoy a Christmas party so that they are not isolated at this time of year which is all about family.  Funding also for the establishment of a choir to participate in Voice in a Million in 2020 (the choir that makes a difference); music is a great therapy for general health and wellbeing.  The organisation is all about making a difference to the lives of young people and improving the outcomes for vulnerable people.

The Octopus Foundation is a small local charity working with vulnerable, marginalized people from deprived areas of Medway and Kent.  Their mission is to improve health and wellbeing by building confidence, skills, independence and resilience of people who are at risk of mental health issues.  They provide opportunities for them to come together, share experiences and give to others.  Their collaborative approach with other organisations such as Medway Isolation Network and Kent & Medway Armed Forces Network brings people together to tackle some serious social challenges.  They are currently working with a group of older men, ex-servicemen who are socially isolated, many of whom suffer from mental health problems.  These individuals are able to make tangible items at their carpentry workshop which can then be sold to help support the organisation’s work.  This also helps the individuals with their self esteem.

The funding provided by Chatham Maritime Trust will allow the organisation to buy carpentry consumables and lap tops enabling the men to learn new skills which will in turn help with social isolation and make them feel more connected to their community.  Money will also go towards providing a social activity allowing them to escape from the routine of daily life and allowing them to have fun which will have a lasting impact on the quality of their lives.  This is a unique project that delivers a valuable supportive role to vulnerable individuals.

The Princess Project.   This is a small charity group supporting vulnerable mothers at their  Gillingham Hub.  Those that attend experience hardship, i.e. low income, young parents with physical or mental health challenges, social isolation etc.

The group offers  support to these individuals thus improving their emotional and mental health and general wellbeing.  The Trust’s funding will be used to purchase much needed storage boxes and an A-Frame enabling them to advertise the Gillingham Hub.

Medway Sunlight Rotary Club.  

Medway Sunlight Rotary Club participates in the annual National Kids Day Out that provides disadvantaged children (those with critical health issues, disabled or in a refuge) with a fun day out.  Some 35 children from Year 6 group will be selected from a River Ward School in Medway to participate.  It provides the children with an opportunity to interact in a different social environment, make new friends and cement relationships.  The initiative is the biggest single outing for disadvantaged children in the UK and takes place on 10th June 2020.

Medway Volunteer Workshop.   The Medway Volunteer Workshop works with Tools with a Mission bringing together adults and volunteers to refurbish old tools and sewing machines.  Once refurbished the tools are then packaged into kits and sent to African communities enabling them to start sustainable enterprises and become self-sufficient.  Any tools that are not used for this purpose are sold independently to raise funds towards the running of the workshop.

A generation of Dockyard employees and their families contribute to the workshop bringing their skills and a supply of tools.  The workshop provides socialization and companionship to men and women from various backgrounds and helps them to develop new skills or enhance existing ones.  Many of those that attend are bereaved and others live alone.  All the workshop staff are volunteers.

The workshop also welcomes relatives of people who are frail or disabled or who have dementia to have time away from caring responsibilities at home.  This allows them to experience friendship and support whilst their loved ones are being looked after in day care or by other relatives/friends.

The workshop has recently developed a partnership with the Salvation Army and they hope to form other partnerships this year thus extending the benefit of the workshop to other organisations in the Medway Towns.

The workshop not only helps those in the Medway community with emotional and physical challenges, but helps African communities encouraging them to improve their situation and create sustainable communities.  In addition, it creates a new life for items that would otherwise end up in landfill so of great environmental benefit.

The Trust’s funding will be used to provide further tools for the workshop enabling it to continue with the activities and impacting on so many lives.

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