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The Kent Venture Boat Project Supported By ICOM

The Kent Venture Boat Project Supported By ICOM

For over 20 years the Kent Venture Boat project has been providing opportunities to young people in Kent to explore the near continent through the waterways of France, Belgium and Holland. Young people participate in a wide range of activities from boat handling and route planning, to food preparation, cooking and cleaning. Recently ICOM UK donated an IC-M401 VHF Transceiver to the charity.

In the 1980's, a group of Kent youth workers got together and concluded that a Dutch motor barge, the "New Petra", sailing on the Medway and Thames, would make an ideal community boat for the county.

The "New Petra" has been specially adapted and is used by young people in the 12 to 20 age group, many of whom are socially or mentally disadvantaged. They welcome user groups from organisations such as Scouts, Guides, Interact and the Duke of Edinburgh scheme.

The barge is based in Oostende, Belgium but frequents the canals and waterways of Holland, France and the UK teaching practical skills in boat handling, catering and language whilst providing an opportunity to develop inter-personal skills through a residential experience. The "New Petra" can carry 10 youngsters in five 2 berth cabins with three adjacent showers and toilets. A qualified skipper and cook/2nd hand are provided from their team of unpaid volunteers.

This is the second time that ICOM UK has supported the "New Petra;" having previously donated a VHF base station. This time ICOM UK has provided the "New Petra" with an IC-M401 VHF Transceiver to enable the crew to effortlessly communicate with the waterways authority when going through the many canal locks and waterways.

Paul Southgate, a youth worker who has been volunteering for the project for a number of years, commented on ICOM's sponsorship of the "New Petra" saying, "As a result of our positive experience of Icom products we felt there was no acceptable alternative to replacing the unit with one from your company, and as a consequence of your kind donation we find that the new set provides excellent communications with the Belgian waterways authority. Alongside the 2 ICOM hand transceivers that we own as individuals, we find that much of the stress and uncertainty while berthing and leaving our mooring has now been alleviated."

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