Sea, Sun and (sound) Waves

Blog, Stories, The Barge

9th October 2017

Sea, Sun and (sound) Waves

by Sunetta Kiarie | Admin and Communications Coordinator (and Queen of the Barge)

Disclaimer: (Terrible) Boat and sea puns ahead

“If it wasn’t for coming on the Barge I wouldn’t have made these good friends. It’s good to get out of the area and visit where other people live”. – Jade, participant with the Tarner Community Project

Ahoy! If you asked me to rate my summer on a scale of GREAT to TAKE ME BACK, I’d probably refuse to answer the question on the basis that that scale doesn’t even come close to describing Summer on the Barge. We had six weeks filled with enriching activities. Having only recently moved our offices aboard the Barge, not only were we swimming in the excitement but also thrilled to see young people, adults and parents using the space. What was once a deck of ideas had become reality: a non-profit community and youth hub, a unique venue whose purpose is to add to the wealth of social good in Brighton but more so Brighton Marina. Although tGF does not own the Barge, we are thrilled to be acting as its captain and crew for the first stage of its journey—rallying community organisations and groups to get on board.

In staying true to this purpose, we dove right in to launching the space to children, young people, families and adults to all get anchored in, timed perfectly with the summer holidays. We like to think ourselves as an organisation that’s more than a funder, indeed we hope and continue to work to being so. In that we try to engage as much as we can with the projects we fund across the world. The Barge has made this even more possible as we are literally only a few steps away from seeing organisations run their projects live. The Summer Programme was also made possible by the generous support of Leaders Estate Agents, for whom who we are super grateful.


Banner making with O N C A, Aug 14

We’re also thankful for the organisations who applied to host free activities as part of the Barge’s launch. Many of the activities included the sea as a theme, and for some, you really couldn’t make up how perfectly suited this new space was. For instance, O N C A’s final night—a shark appreciation evening with a 4D screening of Jaws, a film about hunting a shark in a seaside town. O N C A’s aim was to demonstrate that there’s more to a shark than its infamous reputation.  As we watched the film projected across the wall, and concentrated on the boat and its captain cast off in search of the shark, as if an extra character, the Barge too rocked from side to side and caused a ripple of laughter across the deck, a “Fun and Wobbly” experience indeed as described by one participant.

Strike a Light, Shanties

Seaside shanties with Strike a Light- Arts & Heritage, Aug 28

Similarly, Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage also delivered a week of sea-themed arts and craft, including singing sea shanties. The sheer excitement of which was increased by being aboard a boat!

“What became evident when doing the workshop was how much Brighton Marina needs creative community activities,” said one Strike a Light – Arts & Heritage volunteer. “The combination of The Barge and Strike a Light was a great way to deliver this. The children who did the workshop all joined in full voice and really enjoyed the experience.”


Tracey Allen, Director & Founder of SEA PR, delivering workshop, Sept 6

We also saw technology and creativity come together with Blockbuilders reimagining the Marina using Minecraft, Tarner Community Project in

various activities including a VR workshop and AudioActive writing, recording and performing an E.P. all in the space of just four days. Where most of these activities were designed for young people and their families, SEA PR delivered a workshop giving attendees from the third sector a better understanding of how their organisations can work effectively with local media and how to get an optimum response from stakeholders.

“The Barge is an innovative and fabulous space,” said one attendee. “It feels very contained and safe and I love being by the boats.”


AudioActive performance night, Aug 31

It definitely has redefined my coming to work, in our small and bright office, smiling up to passers by as they attempt to stare into the Barge, wondering what we’ve turned it into. Being by the sea means a much more relaxed work environment even at the busiest of times. This unique space welcomes you to think creatively, from something as simple as a meeting to a team away day.

From a humble Humber Barge in the 1920s, to a floating Chinese restaurant in the 1980s, we’re excited to see the how the space further evolves, how the rest of the Marina and Brighton might use it while maintaining its new purpose, an unusual place for all.

Download the Barge online brochure here and in the mean time, take a virtual tour.

For booking enquiries please email our team at

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