Since the pandemic outbreak in March 2020 we have been investigating many avenues to bring a sustainable future to JST. We won a high profile pilot charter with the Royal Navy to give leadership training at sea to their recruits and officers, sought support from the Government’s covid recovery grants, and the furlough scheme. Unfortunately we were not successful with government recovery grants as our application was not supported by the bank. We have pursued lottery funding, grants from charitable trusts and foundations, and individuals who have had significant involvement in our past, as well as looking into new sources of funding.
Sadly some of our donors, including those giving five figure donations and above, lost their lives to the pandemic. Specialist charities like ours experienced a general reduction in giving during the pandemic, as people rightly chose to support the NHS and most recently to the people of Ukraine. The growing increase in the cost of living has also restricted many people’s ability to have extra money to give to charity.
A key negative factor has been the impact of the pandemic on our ability to deliver public voyages. When we sail we receive revenues from selling subsidised berths, which stimulates fundraising.
Our income from both voyage bookings and fundraising would normally sustain our day-to-day fixed operating costs and allow us to prepare for both identified or emergent investment needed onboard Tenacious. Both of these income streams have taken a huge loss, making our forecasting unpredictable. Unfortunately the wonderful support we have received over the past few years has not been enough to meet the challenges we have been presented with.
With very little bank overdraft headroom to support our known and unknown commitments, and an inability to restructure our financial position against our asset base, cash flow reached a sudden critical point which led to the bank withdrawing its desire to further support JST.
In those circumstances it was imperative that we sought financial and legal advice through our advisers. The trustees unanimously agreed to make every effort to avoid taking our two operating companies into administration.
JST onshore staff and full and part time crew were consulted, and agreed to commit to work unpaid to try and redeem the position. The window to do this had to be short to avoid worsening the overall position, and to take place whilst Tenacious was in a maintenance period and before she was due to recommence her voyage programme on April the 22nd.