Newly formed Staunton Harold Sailability Trust rounds first mark in its pursuit to get more disabled children water-bound  

Newly formed charity Staunton Harold Sailability Trust (Staunton Harold ST) has not only secured its first major sponsor, Ward Recycling, but will have enough money to buy its first double handed Hansa dinghy thanks to a £6,000 donation which was raised by Staunton Harold Sailing Club at its Charity Ball on Saturdaynight.

Staunton Harold Sailing Club in Melbourne has been supporting sailing for children and young adults with varying types of disabilities for the last 15 years. Working closely with RYA Sailability, the club has increased the number of sessions it provides year-on-year, offering a range of sailing and waterbourne activities, from accompanied sailing in power boats and training dinghies, to fun onshore activities including essential knot tying.

The next step has been to create a charity, Staunton Harold Sailability Trust and to start to raise funds in excess of £20,000 to buy specialist equipment including three Hansa dinghies (super stable dinghies with adapted seats and controls) and hoists so that these children and young adults can ultimately experience the joy of sailing on their own.

Donald Ward, Commercial Manager at the Derbyshire based company Ward Recycling, heard about the charity and immediately pledged his support, providing the charity with its first major sponsor.

He said: “This fantastic local charity really struck a chord with our company. The Staunton Harold Sailing Club have for a long time worked with the charity Umbrella to supports families living in Derby City and Derbyshire to provide a range of exciting activities.

“The drive commitment of the team at Staunton Harold is to be commended as they look to improve their facilities and extend their programme to more people in the Derbyshire area. Getting more children onto the water is valuable to build confidence, self-worth and to give families the chance to spend quality time together.”

Ward has initially donated £2,000 towards safety equipment which includes life jackets, spray tops and bibs for volunteers.  The team at Ward have also devoted time towards undertaking charity events throughout the year in order to raise additional funds for the charity and hope to be able to raise enough money by the summer for the new boats.

Elaine Penhaul, Commodore at Staunton Harold Sailing Club:“We have been strong supporters of RYA Sailability at the Club for over a decade and are delighted to have formed a Trust which we will continue to work with to make sailing more accessible for more people. The £6,000 raised by club members and a raft of local businesses on Saturday night, together with Ward Recycling’s £2,000 donation has really set the Trust off to an excellent start.” She added, “I would like to say a very big thank you to everyone who worked tirelessly to raise such a large sum.”
A special mention should go to sponsors and supporters: Andra Health; Physio Needs; Purely Sailing; Fine and Country (Loughborough); Green and Co; Smith Cooper (Derby); Lemon and Lime Interiors; Fab Clinic; Paterson Guest House; Trent Sea Training; David Granger Design; Melbourne Deli; Amalfi White and Hartley Boats. Thanks also go to East Midlands Community Fund for their £1,000 grant.

Mark Harden, Trustee and Secretary of Staunton Harold ST said: “Sailability can work with kids or adults of any age, however we do need particular resources – specialist boats and hoists – in order to take adults and more severely disabled children out on the reservoir, or to allow for solo sailing. We currently have a member whose family is part of Staunton Herald Sailing Club, who suffers from brittle bones.

“It is heart breaking as he watches on longingly and cannot sail with his family.  It is our ambition to get him on the water this year to join them.”

Staunton Harold Sailing Club has an ongoing objective to encourage people of all ages and abilities to take up the sport of sailing. To meet this objective, the club has invested significantly in training, volunteers, facilities, and equipment, and as a result, has received a number of major National Awards.

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