The Friends of Dolphin is a Registered Charity (No. 284692), conceived in 1979 as a special project by the Rotary Club of Parkstone to Dolphin 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.
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.