Undoubtedly the biggest challenge for the project is actually raising the funds needed to cover the costs. These costs include design, procurement, construction and installation. The design is done, the location is agreed and approved – now it is just a matter of sourcing the funds to pay for it!
Since project inception, the managing team has commissioned a number of items of merchandise including paintings, prints, miniatures and clothing, all available at the 'Shop'. It has also held a series of major, medium and minor events to raise funds through voluntary donation and commercial sponsorship.
Fundraising events to date have included 'outreach' promotions at Gunwharf Quays, the British Military Tournament at Earls Court and families days at HMS Excellent and HMS Collingwood, often in conjunction with displays by the Fleet Diving Squadron, 22 Regt Royal Engineer divers and the Historical Diving Society's Working Equipment Group.
Sponsored individual and team events have included a cyclothon ending at Gunwharf Quays, swims around Portsea Island and the length of Windermere, the River Dart and Blackpool Sands in Devon plus a 24-hour kayak marathon in Horsea Lake and Devizes to London Canoe Races and an abseil down the Spinnaker Tower.
Formal fundraising events have included gala dinners held on board HMS Victory in Portsmouth Naval Base, at the Royal Navy & Royal Albert Yacht Club in Portsmouth and at Trinity House in London. Committee members have also given illustrated talks to RNA groups, yacht clubs, Round Table, Rotary and U3A (University of the Third Age.)
The fundraising dinner and auction on board HMS Victory was chaired by Admiral Sir Jonathon Band GCB DL (former First Sea Lord) with Admiral of the Fleet Lord Boyce KG GCB OBE DL (former First Sea Lord and Chief of the Defence Staff) as Guest of Honour. The main after-dinner speaker was Sir John Scarlett KCMG OBE (former Head of MI6).
The 'Falklands 35' fundraising dinner and auction at Trinity House in London was honoured with the presence of Prince Harry, Commodore-in-Chief Small Ships & Diving. It was attended by Captain Roger Readwin RN (Captain MFP) plus many highly decorated veterans of the Falklands and descendants of Second World War veterans as well as more recent members of the Royal Navy minewarfare & diving community. Adventurer, naturalist, author and TV personality Monty Halls (an ex-Royal Marine) was present and popular entertainer Shep Woolley provided a witty after dinner speech.
A dinner and raffle at the Royal Naval Club & Royal Albert Yacht Club in Portsmouth raised funds. As with the dinner at Trinity House, entertainment was provided by well-known personality Shep Woolley.
The project has also benefited from funds raised at gatherings of the TCA (Ton Class Association), MWA (Minewarfare Association), MCDOA (Minewarfare & Clearance Diving Officers' Association), AORNFCD (Association of Royal Navy First Class Divers) and the RANCDA (Royal Australian Navy Clearance Divers' Association).
Illustrated talks have been given to such bodies as the Historical Diving Society, RNA groups, yacht clubs & sailing clubs, Round Table, Rotary and U3A (University of the Third Age). Many of these have resulted in donations towards the project's fundraising goal.
Future fundraising plans are likely to include:
- Major – Black Tie Dinners, in Portsmouth and London
- Medium – Great Mud Run or similar, fitness-based events
- Minor – Prize Draws, held annually and at major events