Atlantic Pacific (AP) was in residence at UWC Atlantic College during March, 2018, for an exciting Project Week: students were challenged to further the charity’s mission - to put lifeboats where there are none - in a variety of ways. AP worked with 35 Atlantic College students across a range of initiatives. Some of these included developing social enterprise schemes, charity business initiatives and educational programmes in local schools. Meanwhile, others were hard at work on more practical tasks, namely converting a 40ft shipping container into a Lifeboat in a Box, AP’s mobile lifeboat station. Over the 5-day project, students developed a myriad of new skills and learnt about the establishment of a charity. While planning business strategies, they had the opportunity to experience firsthand the complexities of running a social enterprise. Students working with Kate Sedwell, one of Atlantic Pacific’s directors, spent the week in teams, forming strategies to partner with local schools, businesses and communities. They were tasked to fundraise for the charity, develop business plans to raise money and educate children about the work of AP.
During Project Week, south Wales contended with its biggest snowstorm for 20 years. Though there were concerns that this would curtail AP’s project, the students persevered, overcoming the adverse weather conditions. Students working with Robin Jenkins, another of AP’s directors, and Richard Slatter, AP’s technical consultant, began the task of fitting out the shipping container ready to be sent to Mozambique in early 2019. Working outside, they wrestled with temperatures as low as -5° while handling power tools, shifting sheets of wood and welding fittings. The students also learnt how to run a design scheme, present a design proposal and transfer ideas into a built reality.
Atlantic Pacific is a charity born out of Atlantic College and shares the College’s vision of justice, equality and fairness. During three years of activity, AP has provided a Lifeboat in a Box station to the Tsunami-affected region of North East Japan, established annual summer schools at AC and in Japan which deliver life-saving training, and has reinvigorated boat-building at the College’s seafront. The small charity’s upcoming initiatives include the development of a national lifeboat service in Japan which will involve the construction of a boat-building factory in Kamaishi, a partnership with the Japanese Coastguard and the provision of rescue support during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. With a strong emphasis on the importance on education, AP sees the vital role of the students at Atlantic College in such a scheme and is also partnering with other, state schools around the UK to develop similar projects to the one carried out in College this March.
Project Week was an excellent opportunity for AP to work intensively in collaboration with Atlantic College students, however, AP has been active at the College on a weekly basis over the course of this academic year. With its own Atlantic Pacific Service at the Sea Front, students have been charged with researching the feasibility of a Lifeboat in a Box station in Mozambique. They are also midway through the development of the third, fourth and fifth Hahn Class Lifeboats. AP are developing manufacturing processes that involve cutting-edge technology and hi-tech building methods. The charity has invested in updating the boat-building equipment utilised in Atlantic College’s workshop - the most notable piece of equipment being a vacuum-former - in the hope that students will gain considerable insight into the world of bespoke engineering, technical materials and emerging technologies in design and boat-building. To supervise the experimentation of these new techniques, AP volunteer Tom Coe (AC alumnus, ‘00-’02) has been generously donating his time every week to service sessions at the College: as a naval architect consultant for Frazer Nash, Tom is ideally placed to supervise the students as they explore dynamic techniques and smart materials.
While AP will continue with its weekly service programme at the College, the success of this year’s Project Week will hopefully lead to increased collaboration: with such an overlap between the ethos of each organisation, Atlantic Pacific are proud to involve the young students of Atlantic College in their mission to save lives, regardless of context, worldwide.