At Calorex, we pride ourselves on building machines that not only are durable through the cold winter days, but are built to stand the test of time.
And for one inspirational charity, they are learning about the benefits that a Calorex dehumidifier can bring to an organisation.
Fellowship Afloat Charitable Trust (FACT) is an Essex coast-based charity that provides adventure and activities to thousands of children aboard a 1954 converted light vessel – Trinity House.
And the trust are indebted to a Calorex dehumidifier that has been servicing their ship for the past 27-years.
But the remarkable story behind this DH 30 is that despite it never being switched off, nor never having a service from a Calorex-approved agent – it is still powering through by drying sailing and boating equipment, as well children’s clothing and bedding every day.
In fact, the charity has been so impressed with the Calorex dehumidifier, that a larger drying room is now on the cards as part of a refurbishment project that will help preserve this impressive vessel for the next 27-years. Fellowship Afloat CEO, Andrew Eastham said: “Other than dusting it off now and again, and making sure that the drainage pipe is still doing what it’s meant to be doing – it has never failed us and it still operating as strong now as to when I first joined the charity in 1998.
“The room is ultimately used as a drying room and we use it every single day, 365 days a year, because even in the months where we don’t have children, we have our staff living on board the boat and they are consistently using the room.
The washing machine in the drying room goes on a cycle four or five times a day and the dehumidifier is drying bedding, tea towels, clothing and any kit we use for sailing.
“We tend to leave the dehumidifier alone and it leave us alone. We are now actually afraid to turn it off as it may never come back on again. It does exactly what we need it do and the fact it is still going after all these years is great for us because it is a vital piece of equipment for our charity.”
Built in 1954, Trinity (formerly Lightvessel 15) was used around the UK coast as a floating light to warn people of danger on the sea. It came out of service in the mid-80’s as was brought by Fellowship Afloat in 1988.
The following year, it was converted from a working light vessel into a floating outdoor centre based in Tollesbury, which since 1990, has now become the home for the Fellowship – who welcome 2000 children through its doors every year.
Complete with a canteen, cabins with bedrooms and fully working toilets and showers the charity are almost fully booked for 2017 and are remarkably taking bookings for 2018.
“Fellowship Afloat was established as an organisation in 1967,” continued Eastham. “After initially being based in Harlow, it then found Tollesbury and the organisation started to use boats in their activities and that is how we have came to have a working outdoor centre on a boat.
“Most of what we do is residential bookings, but we also have day groups as well. As a residential centre, we are pretty much full time servicing groups from March to October – fully booked and catering for children of all ages.
“We are proud of the work we do and our lightship ‘Trinity’ is a vessel that the children love to come back to and visit which is part of the reason we are always so popular.”
But after 27-years since Trinity’s conversion to a float centre, the time has come for the another major refurbishment project to be made to the ship and Eastham admits that Calorex would be their dehumidifier of choice.
Among its changes, the vessel would see its drying room treble in area and move to the front of the ship with the likelihood that new, more generous en-suite guest cabins being built to complement the existing cabin area.
Eastham concluded: “The boat has now been servicing groups for over 25-years and it still has its original fit-out. It was done to a very high standard initially, but we are aware that times are changing, we are getting more children coming through our doors and we need a bigger drying area, as well as other facilities on the ship.
“It is going to be a big refurbishing job and it’s all about preparing after the ship for the next 25-years. We have already been quoted another dehumidifier for the new project and based on the performance of the DH 30 we have in place, we wouldn’t really consider going anywhere else.”
For more information about Fellowship Afloat and the work that they do, visit www.fact.org.uk