"I love the feeling of being out on the water and love the competition but, more than that, I love the sense of community with both sailors and volunteers.
- Tom, skipper, international para sailor. Living well with paraplegia.
Frequently Asked Questions
I am in a wheelchair, can I come sailing?
Yes you can! We have wheelchair access, hoists and slings if required. One of our senior volunteers, Tom, needs a wheelchair due to paraplegia, and he has become a sailing skipper, support boat skipper and a National and International Para Sailor. However, we are not allowed electric wheelchairs on the dock, so you will need to come with a manual chair to comply with health and safety guidelines.
What other health conditions suit your sailing programmes?
We attempt to cater to all people living with disability.
Physical impairment, such as neurological disease (ie Huntington's), degenerative autoimmune conditions (ie rheumatoid arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis), paraplegia and amputations.
Intellectual/cognitive impairment, such as foetal alcohol syndrome, Downs syndrome, ADHD, brain injury, autism.
Sensory impairment, such as vision and hearing loss.
These are just some examples. We will do our best to cater for individual needs. Contact us to see if we are a good fit for you or someone you know who might benefit from adaptive sailing.
Is adaptive sailing safe?
Yes. We take our duty of care seriously to ensure our participants safely enjoy being out on the water. We have a health and safety code, supply lifejackets for everyone, and our volunteers are skilled and experienced. One skipper is in each 2-seater boat, and the boats have been designed to be very stable and easy to control. Plus we have patrol boats out on the water supervising all sail boats.
Can I volunteer?
There are many volunteer roles both on and off the water, so there likely will be something to suit you. We also provide training if there is a role that you would like to learn. We welcome new businesses and organisations who would like to help out, too. Let's connect so we can chat about how you can best become a member of our Sailability Smiles Club as a volunteer, business or agency. learn more
I am a person living with disability, can I volunteer?
Yes. We are an inclusive organisation of people: some with disability, some without. Many volunteers living with disability have an important role in our sailing programmes. We can discuss what your strengths and abilities are, what roles you can see yourself in, or would love to learn. We provide all training. If it's a good fit, we'd love you to volunteer and become a member of our Sailability Smiles Club. Have a read through all the volunteer positions on offer here.
How can my business or organisation help?
We need sponsors to help with running costs, so a donation of funds is greatly appreciated. We also need gear: boats, ropes, sails, lifejackets, marine radios, and more, so maybe you have a business that can help with the supplies we need. Or perhaps you have a product or service that we could use as thank you gifts for our volunteers, or use in a raffle to raise money. You can also sponsor individual sailors, too. More details here.
Why do you call disabled people 'people with disability'?
According to the World Health Organisation one is a 'person' first, who happens to be living with conditions/disability, rather than being a 'disabled person', which suggests that being disabled is the main feature of that person. It shifts the focus of seeing the person, who also happens to be living with challenging conditions. It also helps empower the person living with challenges with a greater experience of inclusion, and helps others to view them in a more inclusiveness way.
For whatever we lose, it is always our Self we find at sea.