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  • John Good

Straight outta Hamworthy...

Updated: Jan 17

Hamworthy is stunning. What a place.

Back in summer 2018 I took over a family wedding (I'm a trained Baptist minister) on a Croatian island. A couple of weeks after we got back, My wife and I drove up to Hamworthy park becuase we were moving to Poole that Autumn. We looked across the harbour at the islands and were amazed at how similar it looked to where we had just been.

Hamworthy is a brilliant place. The park is a gem. I love that the Romans landed here centuries ago and built a straight road through Hamworthy out into the unknown. I love that the pirate Harry Paye buried his treasure somewhere out on the islands in the Harbour. I love how much the schools here care for the children that attend them and I love the people who have given me and my family such a warm welcome. I love that people have big dreams for what could happen here in the community too.

My faith in Jesus had always led me to try and love our local community. I'm not into proselytising but I am into loving God and loving my neighbour. Last summer, some friends and I were out and about asking folk some questions about Hamworthy. What are you most proud of? What would you change? etc. We asked people another question. What one thing would you like to do here but can't for some reason? a surprising amount of people answered "We'd like to get out on the water but can't afford it."

I got me thinking. For years I have been inspired by the circular economy and particularly libraries of things (

https://edinburghtoollibrary.org.uk/

is a good example). It struck me that there are people in Hamworthy and beyond who might not be able to afford to get out on the water and there are lots of others who may have spare kayaks, paddleboards surf boards and even boats that are hanging around in sheds, garages and lockups that don't get used. What we need is a way of helpfully sharing things with each other.

So last Autumn I registered a brand new social enterprise called the Watersports library. The idea is that people sign up for £15 a year and borrow equipment one week at a time. At the heart of the project is sharing. There are already great organisations out there that teach Kayaking and Paddleboarding etc (do visit

https://www.rockley.org/

or

http://www.pooleharbourcanoeclub.uk/

if you are interested). But what we want to do is help people SHARE GEAR they already have. There are many benefits to the water and to sharing. It brings people together, it's good for the environment and it's a financial equaliser. We hope that into the future this will be be another way to strengthen community here and help more people enjoy the benefits of the harbour.

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