The Isle of Man Steam Packet Company has assisted with travel for two special charity events which were organised by local firm AFD Software and held at its Lezayre headquarters, Mountain View Innovation Centre.
In September, Spring Harvest Local visited the Island for the first time, providing teaching, resources and encouragement for churches as part of an autumn tour of the British Isles. More than 300 people attended from across the Island, from many different churches - both traditional and contemporary.
Then, to celebrate 10 years since AFD Software donated a special bush aircraft for use by the charity Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF) in Borneo, the charity visited the Island with its ‘Rescue Challenge’ to enable local schools, churches and families to engage with its important work and understand how the Isle of Man has made such a difference for people on a far remote island.
The interactive challenge allowed young people to experience what it’s like to work and serve in some of the most remote places in the world, using ‘real-life’ scenarios through flight simulator technology that offer an insight into some of the challenges MAF’s pilots may experience on a day-to-day basis.
David Dorricott, Managing Director of AFD Group, explained: ‘We have been campaigning to bring Spring Harvest Local to the Island for a number of years and were delighted they were finally able to make the trip.
‘Our connection with MAF now spans almost four decades, but the past 10 years have been especially exciting and engaging. The Kodiak aircraft visited the Isle of Man ten years ago for a few days before going on-station in Kalimantan, Indonesia, where it saves lives and acts as the only realistic transport link for remote communities. As well as celebrating the 10th anniversary of AFD’s donation, the events raised awareness of MAF’s work that brings help and hope to isolated people in 27 developing countries. This was also an opportunity for local young people to engage as world citizens and chat to real MAF pilots to understand how their work impacts those communities.
‘Mountain View Innovation Centre donated the venue space, on-Island support staff, accommodation and subsistence and we are hugely grateful for the help from the Steam Packet Company with the costs of bringing the vehicles and people to the Island for the events – it is much appreciated.’
Gavin Calver, Director of Mission, Evangelical Alliance and Chair of Spring Harvest Planning Group, said: ‘It was wonderful to bring the Spring Harvest Local tour to the Isle of Man this year. I thoroughly enjoyed returning to the beautiful Island and connecting with the Manx people for an evening of heartfelt worship.’
Ruth Whitaker, CEO at MAF, said: ‘It was a pleasure to visit the Isle of Man to celebrate 10 years of service for the kindly donated Kodiak aircraft. It was a great trip and highly enjoyable to engage with local people and help them understand how the Isle of Man is making a difference to lives all the way in Indonesia.’
Isle of Man Steam Packet Company Chief Executive Mark Woodward added: ‘We were happy to help bring the vehicles to the Island to facilitate these insightful events. We wish the teams behind these community charity initiatives the very best for the future.’