Brixham trawler families cast nets on lockdown charity fundraisers

Darren Passmore is skipper on the Resolute BM33

Darren Passmore is skipper on the Resolute BM33 - Credit: Archant

A Brixham trawler skipper has used his time in lockdown to slim down 2st – and raise more than £800 for fishermen's charities.

Darren with his family

Darren with his family - Credit: Archant

Darren Passmore – known as Heavy D – is losing weight and raising money for the Fishermen's Mission.

He said: 'I am hoping to lose around 6st to not only raise money for a fantastic charity the Fisherman's Mission but to get myself a bit fit and healthy for my young children, Ava, aged three, and Henry, ten months.

'I became a fisherman around the age of 14, and at the young age of 16 I passed my skipper tickets. Since then fishing has been my life. I have had a short break from it, but five years ago decided it was just in my blood and was the job I should be doing.

'The Fisherman's Mission are a fantastic charity that give support and advice to all fishermen and their families, you always know you have them there to turn and talk to,' added Darren, who was also Mr February in the local charity calendar for the Fishermen's Mission.

Darren Passmore was also Mr February in the local charity calendar for the Fishermen's Mission

Darren Passmore was also Mr February in the local charity calendar for the Fishermen's Mission - Credit: Archant

'During this pandemic I have decided they need our support as well, so that they can carry on and support us like they have been doing for many years and how they will for many more.

'So I'm asking for a little donation to keep me going through this weight loss and if you know me, you know I do love my food, so please give as little or as much as you can.'

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The Covid-19 impact on the fishing industry, due to the collapse in the fish prices, has been vast for all fishermen.

Darren is skipper of Resolute BM33, which is one of two small inshore trawlers that fish out of Brixham and are owned by Sarah Ready and her husband from Two Brothers Fishing Ltd.

Traditional lobster pot making

Traditional lobster pot making - Credit: Archant

Sarah is fundraising for Seafarers UK, a larger charity that provides money to the Fishermen's Mission.

Sarah said: 'Both charities are very dear to our family and the family of our skipper Darren Passmore.

'As a business, having started up the Ready Fish Box new scheme, we are also doing a charity box with money back to both charities. Darren's Mr February calendar spot is the inspiration behind our Full Monty fish box with monies donated back to the two charities.

'We are gearing up as a business with the opening up of restaurants and hotels on July 4 to enable us to deliver to trade direct.

Two Brothers' trawler BM516

Two Brothers' trawler BM516 - Credit: Archant

'We have also teamed up with Pesky Fish who are buying our fish for the online market - which has had a very real impact on our business and over 20 other boats who are landing to Pesky Fish - in a kind of cooperative way.

'Pesky have been absolutely fantastic with their ethical, money back to the fishermen, business model and have been a lifeline for the many inshore boats who found themselves tied up due to the slump in sales and distribution network having collapsed.

'Charities have picked up the pieces to support the fishermen due to the loss of business and we as a family and as a business would very much like to give back to Seafarers UK through myself running the London Marathon again for them and Darren Passmore supporting the Fishermen's Mission through his weight loss programme.

'As a business we are now starting to see the green shoots of some recovery on fish sales, our fish delivery service is now going from strength to strength in and around Torbay and the way forward with fish sales direct, through Pesky Fish, and through our mobile fish round, is the new norm as far as trading is concerned.

'I am also pushing ahead with some projects around the Bay this summer to keep alive and promote the heritage skills of our past through traditional lobster pot making.'

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