Nautical Charity sends SOS to Local Businesses

A maritime organisation based on the Tyne has received a lot of help from two businesses when they heard that the charity needed help to move equipment from their HQ at the end of their lease period.

Photo shows: L to R Mark Reed (Newcastle Business Village) Jimi Tubman and Nigel Campbell MVS with Steve McGuinness of LA Taxis.

The Maritime Volunteer Service (MVS) Northumbria Unit met at the Old Lowlights building on North Shields Fish Quay and are part of a national organisation with more than 30 units across the country. 

Each unit trains their members in valuable maritime skills both afloat and ashore which can be called upon by the community in times of emergency. MVS members are trained in handling boats, seamanship, basic marine engineering and operational support skills including radio and telephone communications, all of which can be put to good use in times of natural disaster or emergency.

Now however, an end to the lease agreement meant that the job of emptying a three story lighthouse of 15 years of equipment, transporting it, storing it and finding a new meeting place was a gigantean task.

Mark Reed from Newcastle Business Village which provides flexible business space and support for local growing businesses by offering fully serviced offices, workshops and light industrial space stepped in to offer storage facilities until a new meeting place can be arranged. Meanwhile, Newcastle taxi firm LA Taxi’s supplied driver Steve McGuinness and their huge lorry to transport items such as life jackets, furniture, engines and an extensive maritime library from the Fish Quay to Newcastle Business Village in Benton.

Volunteer Officer Keith Newman, from Ulgham near Morpeth was very grateful for the help given to the MVS.

“The unit on Tyneside is starting again and we already have around six people from Newcastle, North and South Tyneside and Northumberland who are interested in building on the foundations already in place,” he said. “To have two prominent local businesses such as LA Taxis and Newcastle Business Village offering to help us in such a practical way is amazing.”

“I’d recommend any one who is interested in boats and maritime activities to visit us; you don’t need any previous experience as our training programme takes all abilities into account,” said Keith

As a uniformed organisation, the MVS have a real part to play in the community. They have a proud history, formed from the ashes of the Royal Naval Auxiliary Service with a training programme second to none.

Anyone wishing to join or know more about the MVS can email Keith on

Can you help the MVS find a new meeting place?

Contact Keith Newman 07814 397951