The Friends of Dolphin – Poole Dorset
The Friends of Dolphin is a Registered Charity (No.284692), conceived in 1979 as a special project by the Rotary Club of Parkstone to celebrate the 75thanniversary of Rotary International. The first boat, Dolphin 1, was launched on 23 February 1980. On the 21 August 1982 Parkstone Rotary Club handed the project over to the Trustees of the newly formed Friends of Dolphin Charity and it has remained as a self supporting charity ever since. Our first boat, Dolphin 1 was replaced by Dolphin 11 in 1990, and both these boats were flat bottomed with a bow loading ramp which made them ideal for embarking wheelchairs from a slipway. Dolphins 1 and 11 were both built by Rotork/RTk Marine in Hamworthy. In 2008 we acquired Dolphin 111 built on the Isle of Wight by Cheetah Marine, a totally new design which enables us to embark our passengers direct from a pontoon in the Poole Harbour Marina. All three of our Dolphin boats were specially adapted to carry disabled people of all ages and disabilities, particularly those in Wheelchairs or with physical disabilities.
The Friends of Dolphin Charity is run entirely by volunteers and is completely non-profit making. All the money raised is utilised directly towards the running and operational costs of Dolphin 111. The single purpose of the Charity is to provide free trips in Poole Harbour for disabled persons of all ages and disabilities who are unable to use the normal pleasure craft which operate in Poole Harbour. The maximum number of passengers that can be accommodated on each trip is 12; this number includes carers and any wheelchairs (either up to 6 manual or 4 powered wheelchairs). Please note that we do not allow mobility scooters on Dolphin.
There are usually two Harbour trips each day, from 11am to 1pm, and then from 2pm to 4pm. In addition there are also some additional tide dependent trips to Wareham and return usually between 11am and approximately 2.30pm. The operating season for Dolphin 111 is from 1 May until 30 September. PLEASE NOTE that bookings for each season begin from 1st March.
Finally, we receive a number of requests each season either for trips to Brownsea Island or to provide family outings in Poole Harbour. It must be emphasised that for the reasons clearly outlined above it is not possible to accede to these requests because as a charity we must adhere to our only priority which is to provide free trips for disabled persons and their carers. However, PLEASE NOTE that Brownsea Island now have their own landing type craft for conveying disabled passengers and wheelchairs from the Sandbanks peninsula to the Island; this is a service for which they charge you and is bookable through the office on Brownsea Island. In recent years we have been able to carry over 2000 such passengers in Dolphin 111 and this is a cause of great satisfaction and pride for everyone involved with The Friends of Dolphin Charity.