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 75th anniversary of Rotary International.
The first boat, Dolphin I, 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 I was replaced by Dolphin II 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 I and II were both built by Rotork/RTk Marine in Hamworthy. In 2008 we acquired Dolphin III 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.
To DONATE please click HERE and search for Friends of Dolphin
In 2017, we were proud to have been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, which is known as the MBE for Charities. Our Charity’s Chairman at the time, Ray Kipling said “We are absolutely thrilled to have been recognised in this way. It is a reflection of many years hard work by hundreds of our volunteers who have brought happiness to our disabled passengers.”
In 2018, The Lord Lieutenant of Dorset, Angus Campbell paid us two visits. In May, he came to present us with the Queen’s Award. In September he kindly came at our request to present a certificate and flowers to our 50,000th passenger, Mrs Romany Moss, (see pictures below) another major milestone in the History of our Charity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please see some of the common questions we get asked about our trips.Can’t find a question you’re looking for?
Yes, please ring the Booking Secretary on 01202 875867 as soon as you know you need to cancel. By doing this we can offer your places to someone else.
Please arrive 15 minutes before the time of your trip.
Please wait opposite the Tesco convenience store for a member of our crew who will be wearing a bright yellow polo shirt.
The harbour trip lasts approximately 2 hours.
The Wareham trip lasts approximately 4 hours and includes a stop off at Wareham quay where you may like to purchase fish and chips for your group before returning to Poole Quay. Ask the crew when you get on board.
Passengers cannot get off the boat at Wareham Quay.
Please let us know as soon as possible so other people may book the trip.
Dolphin is run entirely by unpaid volunteers. We have no paid staff.
The trips are free of charge. We rely on donations to keep us afloat!
If the weather is not suitable for a safe and comfortable trip it is cancelled and the skipper will contact you to let you know. Please ensure you have given us a telephone number so that you are contactable at all times.
If it is just inclement weather the deck area where you sit is covered and has transparent side covers too.
No. Only the crew.
Dolphin III waits for passengers in Poole Quay Boat Haven, Poole Town Quay, Poole, Dorset. BH15 1HJ
Passengers should not enter Poole Quay Boat Haven without a member of the crew from Dolphin III
You can drop off your passengers opposite the Tesco convenience store on Poole Quay.
There are plenty of Car Parks in the area, click on the link to see more information:
Yes, there is a wheelchair accessible toilet on board.