Sailing Programme 2015-16
A story by Able2Sail
Able2Sail provided sailing opportunities for half & whole day weekend on a modified yacht & motor cruiser for people affected by disability.
We provide dinghy and powerboat training which leads to RYA certification for our Youth Forum. We liaised with partners to prioritise young people with most complex needs.
What Sailing Programme 2015-16 did
Via the Scottish Boat Show at Kip in October 15 we actively recruited new volunteers by manning our dedicated stall for 3 days with our volunteers. This provided first-hand knowledge of how being a volunteer for able2sail can affect change for both our volunteers and clients. Word of mouth in the sailing community (in Scotland and wider area) also generates volunteers – we have new volunteers traveling from Fife and Kent to support our programme. We have a training programme regarding sailing and expectations for the clients. Most of the volunteers have sailing experiences
We have revamped our website and updated our volunteer application form. Both of these improvements have attracted positive comments and new enquiries. As per previous seasons we have contacted Social Work Children with Disabilities Team to seek advice regarding young people who would benefit most from our programme.
We expected to complete a total of 2040 hours of short breaks which include sailing on the Clyde, sailing on the West Coast and dinghy/ powerboat sailing at Castle Semple. We exceed these hours by 75 hours. Most of the carers come along with us on the sails as we promote a “can do” attitude for our clients. We like to also encourage carers to try aspects of sailing on a yacht/ motor cruiser, working as part of a team which includes all.
For the Youth Forum breaks, while the young people were out on the water , some of the carers got together for the day which proved relaxing and informative as well as fun.
Barry’s also accumulated a number of personal achievements including sailing the west coast of Scotland as crew on our 46 foot cruising yacht “able2sail” which involved a 3 night stay and taking part in Hansa 303 /access dinghy regattas at Castle Semple Loch. Barry achieved an RYA Silver Sailability Achievement Award as a result of his involvement with able2sail Youth Forum – a great achievement
The crews we have met are all volunteers and are extremely friendly, enthusiastic, very patient and are highly trained to work with children with disabilities. They also give great instruction and plenty of practice in how to be part time sailors so you feel like one of the crew instead of just being “passengers”.
The highlight of the children’s day on “able2Ssail” was definitely being attached to harnesses which were clipped on to the Jackstay, allowing them to walk about on the deck and then going out to the bow of the Yacht quite safely when the sails were stowed. Kenny also loved being able to open the small window at the front of the cabin and look out to sea. This was an incredible and fantastic experience he would have no other chance to partake in without able2sail and his excitement and pleasure was almost palpable. Thank you very much for another fantastic trip. Murdo & Isabel
Both Darren and Bethany have gained lots of skills during their training, they have completed courses, gained qualifications and many RYA certificates. which would never have been possible without the support and training with Able2Sail. The experiences they have gained during their training, days out and many trips has given them both the confidence and invaluable life skills which have helped them in their everyday life. They have a great understanding of others their needs and abilities. They have developed great social and communication skills working with others who also have a variety of disabilities and abilities in the youth forum.
I don't think its possible to put into words how being part of Able2Sail has made my children the people they are today, they are confident and independent, they have learned life skills which will assist them in their adult life, their mental health has improved because they have a sport they love, they are learning all the time and are accepted, they have a great understanding of others.
What Able2Sail has learnedThe fund has allowed us to maintain and expand our sailing activities for those with and affected by disability. As a direct result we have recruited more volunteers which has translated into more breaks for carers.
The selection of 3 of our young people for the Special Olympics Sheffield 2017 is a bonus we were not expecting. 2 of our young people will be the contestants with another member of the Youth Forum being a buddy as he does not fit the criteria as a competitor – a great example of team work.
Raising our profile via the Boat Show and the new website has increased knowledge of our services which has increased demand. The demand is also on from existing enabled “sailors” for return sails. We are limited by our volunteer base, but in the last year we have been able to accommodate more mid-week sailing experiences