WORKERS on the Sandbanks Ferry have nominated Dorset Mind as their partner charity for the coming year.

The ferry company will partner with the mental health charity for the Christmas period and throughout 2021.

This means Dorset Mind will receive free onboard advertising space and be able to collect donations on key dates of the year, such as Mental Health Awareness Week and World Mental Health Day.

To kick start the charity initiative, ferry bosses will offer free travel to all on Christmas Day, with passengers able to donate their toll fee to Dorset Mind on the day via collection boxes onboard.

Mike Kean, managing Director of Sandbanks Ferry Company, said: “We are very pleased to be partnering this year with an amazing local charity that has helped so many people over the years, and of course throughout 2020 with all the challenges that Covid-19 has brought.

"It is great to be able to do our bit to help such a worthy local cause, and we hope the free Christmas Day travel will get their 2021 fundraising off to a great start."

Dorset Mind works across the county to raise awareness of mental health issues and to support people suffering and their families.

Marianne Storey, chief executive officer of Dorset Mind, said: "We’ve all seen our wellbeing affected this past year and we want to let people know that there is help out there for them.

"Importantly, we also want to let them know what services are available and how to access them at their time of need - we provide both one-to-one and group support locally and never has it been more important.

"Huge thanks to Mike and the Sandbanks Ferry employees for nominating us.

"We’re very much looking forward to working alongside you and raising funds to help support people in Dorset.”

Sandbanks Ferry is also supporting Dorset Mind’s ‘Move Your Mind’ campaign, which encourages people to get active for at least 30 minutes a day and raise money for the charity throughout January.

The Christmas Day ferry service will run half-hourly from 8am until 6.10pm, leaving Sandbanks on the hour and half hour, and from Shell Bay at 10 and 40 minutes past the hour.

All passengers will be able to enjoy free travel on Christmas Day, including foot, car, bicycle, and goods vehicles.

During the rest of the holiday period, the Sandbanks Ferry will operate a normal service timetable from 7am to 11pm.

Visit www.sandbanksferry.co.uk/timetable.php for timetable information.