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On November 14, the Hull Maritime Community Grant Scheme, in which we award small pots of up to £500 and £2000 to local groups and individuals, will reopen for applications. In this blog series, Charlotte Tomlinson sits down with successful grantees from the last round of funding, to share their experiences, highlights, and top tips on applying for round two. Here she chats to Dave Parker of Humber Keel and Sloop Society.

Hello Dave. To kick us off, please can you tell us a little bit about what Humber Keel and Sloop do.

The Humber Keel and Sloop Preservation Society is a registered charity dedicated to preserving the two remaining sailing vessels which are unique to the maritime history of the River Humber and its tributaries.

As an organisation, you were successful in the first round of community grants, weren’t you? How did you spend the money and what did you do?

The £2,000 grant was divided into two sections. The first, enabled two of the society's new volunteer members to take part in and qualify in the RYA qualification of competent crew and HF radio procedures. This will entitle them to act as crew members on our two sailing ships during the future sailing season.

The second part of the grant went towards the cost of traveling to and from the berth of one of our vessels, COMRADE, which we are converting into a floating museum. This will enable the ship to travel to all parts of the connected waterways and promote the ship’s heritage in other locations connected with Hull.

How fantastic! Hull’s maritime story is so much bigger than just the city itself. What difference did your community grant project make to members of our local communities?

The grant enabled new volunteers to take part in our projects, in the ways mentioned earlier. These volunteers consisted of two retired gentlemen, who looked for a new and different interest in life. Another new volunteer found that her mental wellbeing was greatly improved by being involved with a society that she had an interest in but had not considered being involved with before.

That sounds great – a real range of benefits delivered. If you had to pick, what was one main highlight of getting a grant?

The main highlight of the what the grant was able to allow the society to do, was how it brought together members of the public, who had not met before and not considered helping with the restoration and sailing of our ships. The enthusiasm shown by them has been well received by well-established members of the society, who can now see a way forward in the society's aims.

We’re so happy to hear that. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences of Hull Maritime’s Community Grant Scheme with us!

Here's Glen, one of two Humber Keel and Sloop Preservation Society volunteers who have completed qualifications that will allow the society to continue and expand their work

Hull Maritime’s Community Grant Scheme reopens on November 14 and applications will be accepted until Friday 6 January.

To find out more and to apply for the scheme, click here. For more top tips for applying, see this blog post.