Wexford MarineWatch in the driving seat with new cars
Suicide prevention charity Wexford Marinewatch had two big reasons to celebrate - firstly the grant of official Charitable Status from the new Charities Regulator, and secondly it's in the driving seat after being presented with two new vehicles through a partnership deal with Wexford Volkswagen.
'We have been dealing with the new Charities Regulator for over 18 months now to ensure we met the stringent requirements of the Charities Act,' said Founder & CEO Frank Flanagan.
'With the collapse of the suicide bereavement charity Console in 2016, the law tightened up considerably - which was badly needed,' he said.
Frank said MarineWatch relies on donations from the public to continue our operation in preventing suicide.
However, he said, the public in return, deserve to know that the funds are being used appropriately and for the purposes that it has been given.
'This charity status provides just that - a clear message to the public and anyone who fundraises for us that we have met all the stringent requirements and all our dealings are transparent with accountable trustees,' he said.
Last week, Wexford Volkswagen provided Marinewatch with two new vehicles for use during their patrols.
'This partnership has allowed us to upgrade both our vehicles for ones which are more reliable and suited to the work we do,' said Frank.
'We respond to many different types of incidents during night patrols, some of which can be life-or-death situations where our defibrillator is required - so a reliable vehicle is essential,' he said.
'Volkswagen recognised the vital work we were doing in the community and wanted to do their bit to help out.'
Kevin O'Reilly, Dealer Principal at Wexford Volkswagen said MarineWatch had become a vital part of the Wexford Community since 2012 and 'we wanted to contribute in some way towards the life-saving work carried out by their volunteers every night'. 'Our vehicles are renowned for their reliability so it made sense for them to team up with us here at Wexford Volkswagen. We are proud to be able to assist them and commend the work that they do,' he said. Since being established in 2012, Marinewatch have dealt with over 280 incidents and prevented over 110 people from self-harm by patrolling nightly at the harbour.