22 May

Does it drive you nuts when someone says "It's not as bad as it looks?" - I mean, how do they really know? Are they an expert on the subject? If not, why are they trying to give you false hope? But then again, they might be right. I'm a glass half full kind of person, so yes - it might not be as bad as it looks.

NB Daisy's hull is a case in point. The stern looks awful. You don't need to know much about boats to see that. But this is a case of, it really isn't as bad as it looks. Our hull repair expert has looked at her and says yes, he can sort this out so it's good for at least another decade. We just have to find him about a thousand pounds to pay for the work to be done. Not ideal but that's boats for you - Bring Out Another Thousand.

So fundraising has begun, feelers for sponsorship are going out and there's a raffle coming, with some wonderful prizes - two narrowboat holidays for starters, have been promised. And we know our supporters will rally round with labour, tools and materials - we just have to ask them. And that's the hard part.

Asking for and accepting help isn't easy. For an organisation like us, it's easier, but when you're a veteran, used to being in control and surviving the most hostile situations, asking for help can be the hardest thing in the world.

This week we have been contacted by a veteran, who fears he is about to become homeless. He didn't ask to have one of our boats, but it was there clearly between the lines. It must have taken courage to reach out and we were as helpful as we could be. Our advice was, to reach out to one of the forces charities, who help homeless veterans - there are several really good ones, who we follow on LinkedIn. They will do what they can for him - and if he wants to be considered for one of our boats, that's what he needs to do. Then that charity, when they've assessed his needs, can reach out to us, and we'll consider him for a boat if one becomes available.

And that brings us back to NB Daisy, and her battered old hull. Despite having rather too much water than is ideal in her recently, her beautiful, bespoke varnished wood kitchen, and interior sides, panelled with polished wood rescued from a former Board room, have survived. She needs rewiring, and a modern bathroom - and we have plumbers and electricians willing to do that for us. Then NB Daisy will be able to undertake one of her most important roles - as an assessment boat, for veterans being considered for one of our boats.

So she looks a mess at the moment - but it's not as bad as it looks - we just need a bit of help. And I'd urge you, if you need a bit of a hand, reach out, because there will be someone out there who'll think your situation isn't as bad as it looks. And you know what? They are probably right.

Lizzie Lane. Co-Chair and Administrator.The Forces Veterans Afloat Charitable Trust.

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