Giving back to the Balearics

Crew unloading 25 bags of food from Palladium

Giving back to the Balearics

Crew unloading 25 bags of food from Palladium

Purpose

Giving back to the Balearics

New charity Yachting Gives Back is helping food banks and homeless shelters in Mallorca

By Dominique Afacan | 21 December 2019

Nick Entwistle had been working for superyachting painting company Pinmar for 22 years when he came up with the idea for Yachting Gives Back. “I was about to retire and I was thinking of things I wanted to do,” he explains. Looking out over the main shipyard in Palma, lined with superyachts, he had a brainwave. “I realised all of those boats probably had food to spare that would otherwise go to waste,” he says. “In the UK, there are charities which put a few shopping trolleys at the exit of supermarkets and ask customers to put a couple of things in it on their way out.” He realised he could do something similar with superyachts.

With some flatpack boxes donated from Pinmar Supplies and a couple of friends to lend a hand, Nick started handing out flyers and distributing boxes to yachts in the port. The response was promising right from the start. “We began in Easter of this year and got about 650 kilos of food which was satisfying, but we quickly realised we needed to do an awful lot more.” While the Balearics might not be the first place to spring to mind when it comes to destinations in need, there are certainly people in need of help across the islands.

Giving back to the Balearics

The Yachting Gives Back team

Giving back to the Balearics

The Yachting Gives Back team

“The main food bank for the Balearics in their annual report for 2018 said they had distributed 1.4m kilograms of food to over 21,000 people via 82 different organisations. That’s across Ibiza, Mallorca and Menorca. That gave me an idea of the scale, and the homeless figure has risen to about 600 people across the island.” Combined with very seasonal work opportunities, Nick realised there were a lot of people struggling on the margins who needed some help.

Thankfully, after the initial round of donations, local media got involved, helping to spread the word and share the message of Yachting Gives Back. “The local radio station, Radio 1 Mallorca, invited me to talk about it, which got me a wonderful volunteer who happens to be a Facebook wizard. Our record posting reached 26,000 people so things accelerated dramatically after that,” explains Nick. The post in question showed multiple yacht crew members forming a human chain to pass down 25 huge bags of food from a superyacht called Palladium.

Giving back to the Balearics

Mallorca

Giving back to the Balearics

Mallorca

The charity now works with food banks, soup kitchens and homeless shelters. “We can find a home for more or less anything,” says Nick. And there have been some unusual donations. “The social dining room we support, which serves about 350 meals a day – I took them a beautiful bacon slicer which one of the boats was getting rid of. I also delivered a big Miele oven which had done a couple of years on a boat.”

Alongside this, there are lots of towel and bedding donations which are happily accepted at the homeless shelter. “They didn’t really know quite what to make of us to begin with, but what they’ve realised is that everything is superyacht quality – for the most part, things have only been used for a season or two, so there are years of life left in them,” explains Nick.

It’s a similar story at the food banks, where, instead of the usual rice, pasta and olive oil – Nick found himself delivering unusual superyacht ingredients, originating from all over the world. “We were slightly worried that it didn’t really fit in with the stuff they were offering,” says Nick, “but the owner explained that although people are struggling, many of them are perfectly good cooks who are more than happy to work with unusual foods.”

Giving back to the Balearics
Giving back to the Balearics

“Mallorca Without Hunger is set up like a community supermarket, so you have to register and show that you are in need and then get a voucher, take a basket and choose what you want. Sure enough, everything we deliver from the superyachts goes pretty fast!” says Nick.

Since launching Yachting Gives Back, there have also been contributions from professional sailing teams, such as the TP52 Super Series, who donated their leftover lunches and even charter staff, who grouped together to pool their tips. “Busy charter boats tend to get very good tips, so one particular crew collected 2% of everything and gave it to us,” says Nick. “So we went to Macro with a shopping list from the soup kitchen and spent it. It was a fantastic idea. I’d love it if one or two more boats followed suit.”

Retirement might not be quite as leisurely as he planned, with his new venture taking off at lightning speed, but Nick has no complaints. “I am busier than I planned but we are all enjoying it. It’s been lovely meeting lots of new people and there’s been a lot of running around. Owners seem really enthusiastic about it, which is fantastic.”

Sign up for updates




Do you work in the superyacht industry? YesNo
I would like to receive updates from Superyacht Life