WIGHTLINK is welcoming applications from Isle of Wight charities, sports and arts groups this month for its Wightlink in the Community travel programme in 2022. 

Focused on helping young people and green initiatives, the scheme supports scores of good causes that enhance the quality of life for people on the Isle of Wight. 

To date, Wightlink in the Community has provided hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of ferry travel to help people attend events on the mainland or bring people or equipment to the Isle of Wight. 

Details of how groups can apply can be found at www.wightlink.co.uk/sponsorship.  

The sponsorship window for sponsorship applications opened on October 1 and will close on October 31. Successful applications will be confirmed in December 2021 and Wightlink in the Community sponsorship will start on January 1 2022 and run for 12 months. 

Wightlink also provides ad-hoc support to charities throughout the year and is part of the Isle of Wight Council Talented Athlete Scheme for individual sportsmen and women. 

Ruth Curtis from Isle of Wight Skating Club said: “The support we receive from Wightlink has offered a much–valued lifeline for our Island skaters. Five years after our home rink - Ryde Arena - closed its doors, they continue to travel to Gosport weekly to train. Without sponsorship from Wightlink, this would not be possible and our Skating Club simply would not exist.  

“Our skaters and parents are extremely grateful for the continued support from Wightlink which means that we can continue to participate in the sport we love and that the Isle of Wight is still represented in national and international competitions.” 

Carol Court, founder and chief executive of Ability Dogs 4 Young People, said: “Wightlink’s sponsorship means a great deal to the charity, this year more than ever, because we have been back and forth to the mainland this year sorting out new puppies and trying to catch up for 2020 when we could not take any on.” 

Joanna Willey from Fusion Arts Academy said: “Wightlink’s support to our students has been invaluable. Not only have they supported us with travel to the mainland but they have taken the time to communicate regularly with us during the pandemic to see how we were getting on which has meant such a lot during these unprecedented times. Thank you for your support, Wightlink, and I hope we’ve made you proud!” 

Wightlink chief executive Keith Greenfield said: “We take pride in supporting the local community, especially good causes which help to broaden the horizons of young people on the Island and we look forward to receiving applications for help with the cost of ferry travel during 2022. 

“Wightlink supports a variety of groups and good causes from sports teams to environmental charities and musicians to carnival groups - all of which contribute to Island life by inspiring and enhancing people’s lives.” 

The successes and achievements of Island good causes supported by Wightlink are regularly showcased on the ‘Wightlink in the Community’ Facebook page www.facebook.com/wightlinkinthecommunity 

More information about Wightlink’s Community Sponsorship Scheme can be found at www.wightlink.co.uk/community.