What is the Boat of Hope?
Quite simply, a boat!
British Charity Guru, Social Entrepreneur and Adventurer Bernie Hollywood OBE will be taking on the renowned Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge – an incredible solo row of 3,000 miles across the Atlantic Ocean in support of Samaritans and Love Rowing. He aims to raise a total of £100,000 to share between the two charities. His journey across the Atlantic on a single rowing boat – the Boat of Hope – will act as a powerful metaphor for life’s highs and lows, ups and downs.
Why this challenge?
Many aspects of young people's lives have been impacted by the pandemic. With social distancing restrictions in place, and schools being closed at many points during the year, they've had far less access to their friends and the vital emotional support that socialising at or outside of school brings. In fact, research has revealed that, in the second UK national lockdown, many young people experienced increased symptoms of anxiety and depression.
The gruelling challenge will push 63-year-old Bernie to extremes physically and mentally, as he spends up to 90 days rowing completely unsupported, putting his endurance and mental resilience to the test with seas of 90ft, rowing 1.5 million strokes for 18 hours a day. The intention of the #BoatOfHope campaign is to open up a conversation with early years children and young adults about depression, and provide hope and support through the creative arts and adventure.
What’s the latest?
An incredible ‘Hope’ mural contributed to by competition entries from children and young adults, and completed by artist Justin Eagleton, was wrapped around the Boat of Hope to make it a truly unique spectacle. The boat was also officially named ‘City of Liverpool’ in a ceremony at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, to honour Bernie’s late father and grandfather, who both spent their working lives within the Port of Liverpool.
This month - April 2022 - Bernie will complete a 300-mile 30-day ‘Boat Pull’ at MoD Base Lyneham in Wiltshire. Yes, he’s going to pull the boat on its trailer for 300 miles! Up and down the main runway at Lyneham, 10 miles a day, all month long. Each mile the Boat of Hope is pulled along the runway represents the loss of a young person through suicide within the UK last year. Bernie will also be eating and sleeping on the boat for the duration, and joined by some special guests over the course of the challenge.
And it doesn’t stop there. In June this year, Bernie will be touring schools across the UK before he sets off. And then in June 2023, upon Bernie’s return, the Boat of Hope will be exhibited at Liverpool Cathedral.
Learn more here