Youngsters with disabilities set sail for adventure as Superyacht charity gives Sailing Therapy a cash boost
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Sailing Therapy, a community interest company, provides water based activities for clients with mobility and learning disabilities using their custom launch boat called Rebecca Anne, which cruises the waters of Portsmouth, Langstone, and Chichester harbours.
It operates from Northney Marina on Hayling Island, where today Mark Dombey, the chairman of the organisation, received a donation of £3,500 from Liam Dobbin of Superyacht Charities.
This charity is operated by a team from across the superyacht industry, who work to raise money for charitable causes.
Liam took a trip out on the Rebecca Anne - which is specially designed to enable use by people with a wide range of abilities - as it was skippered by Sailing Therapy secretary David Weinstock.
Billy Predith and Rowan Hayward also took part in the sail, along with their carer Poppy Edwards.
These two youngsters were in attendance along with Chaos Support, a Havant day service which supports young adults with a learning disability or additional needs.
Mark said: ‘The donation will transform our operation which is quite complicated and make it much simpler and allow us to have that much more use of the boat and make it available to all the clients.
‘It’s custom designed for the needs of our clients. Even people with wheelchairs can easily get on board.
‘They can drive the boat and help us operate it - we encourage that.’
Liam, a trustee of Superyacht Charities, said: ‘We raise money for charities that us as an organisation do, so we go out to smaller charities.
‘Sailing Therapy applied to us. They said, can you help us in any way, shape or form.
‘We ran a festival in the New Forest a couple of weeks ago and raised £7,000. Sailing Therapy was one of the two charities that received half of it. We gladly donated £3,500 that will make a massive difference.
‘We in the Superyacht world sort of take boating for granted - I spent ten years sailing.
‘To get people who don’t have access to the sea on board boats is just a fantastic thing to do.
‘The smiles you can see - it’s really worthwhile.’