Bernie, 62, will have to rowing 3,000 nautical miles, as part of the Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge in December 2022.
The Liverpool-born fundraiser hopes to raise £1 million for charities Samaritans and Love Rowing and raise awareness of children and young people’s mental health problems, particularly in the light of the impact pandemic.
The dad of two unveiled his Boat of Hope at the Royal Albert Dock and revealed the vessel will be officially named the ‘City of Liverpool’ for the voyage.
What Bernie Hollywood said
“I am extremely honoured that the official naming of the Boat of Hope is taking place at such an iconic venue and in the presence of our city’s dignitaries.
“Rowing solo across the Atlantic will, of course, be a huge physical and mental challenge, so it will be a great comfort to me to know that I am not alone and that the city so close to my heart will be with me all the way.
“I hope that this campaign inspires more open conversations about youth mental health so that those young people who are struggling know that they too are not alone and that there are people who can help them find a way forward.”
Boat of Hope campaign
The Boat of Hope campaign features contributions from a range of high-profile figures.
It includes a children’s book ‘Bernie and Boatie’, written by Liverpool’s Natalie Reeves Billing, which is supported by an animated trailer voiced by pop icon Melanie C and Doctor Who’s Sascha Dhawan.
The collaborative book is inspired by Bernie’s incredible mission across the Atlantic. All proceeds from the book will go to the Boat of Hope campaign.
Bernie & Boatie and mental health
“It is a joy working with Bernie on the Boat of Hope campaign,” says the books author Natalie Reeves Billing.
“His incredible mission across the Atlantic inspires this collaborative new book, ‘Bernie and Boatie’.
It is fun, colourful and beautifully illustrated by Lisa Williams, and I hope young readers will fall in love with it.
“It also carries a very important message about mental health, particularly in young children. In this story, the sea represents our emotions, our ups and downs, as we try to find the light beyond adversity.”
City of Liverpool boat design
The boat exterior artwork was designed by renowned artist Justin Eagleton, who has created a mural that draws together multiple images to depict a mental health journey.