A charity which introduces people with disabilities to the excitement of sailing will now be available to more people after a generous donation allowed it to buy a new boat.
Funds from the St Edmunds Trust – a charity which gives grants to charitable organisations involved in the care or treatment of sick or disabled people – has enabled WASH Sailability to purchase a much-needed new boat.
The double-seater is just over three metres long and has a 30kg weight in the keel to give it extra stability.
Alan Jones, chairman of WASH Sailability, said: “We needed it because we had to turn people away last season. Over 300 people went last year so we needed to make sure we could make it available to more people.”
The charity, which caters for a wide group of clients, ranging in age from eight to 80, as well as their friends, family and carers, has six doublehanders, three singles and, towards the end of last season, was even taking people out in kayaks.
It has now introduced a community transport scheme to collect people who would otherwise not be able to make it to the sessions at Lackford Lakes, which take place from 10am-5pm on Tuesdays, 10am-1pm on Thursdays, and in the afternoons on the first and third Saturday of each month.
On what the clients enjoy so much about sailing, Mr Jones said: “They just find it relaxing and it gives them levels of achievement because they can race and we have an award scheme.”
“Our aim is to train, wherever we can, the carers or family members so they can actually share the experience,” he added.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the charity should email email@example.com or search ‘WASH Sailability’ on Facebook.