Cash boost helps Isle of Wight charity reach £96,000 goal for wheelchair friendly boat

The cash boost will help Cowes Sailability Club reach their £96,000 target for a new specially-designed Island-built motorboat that is fully wheelchair accessible

Laura Haytack, Paul WIlks, IW Foundation Co-ordinator Sam O'Rourke and Trish Rooke

A £16,000 donation from the Isle of Wight Foundation has put wind in the sails of an Island charity that offers recreational boating opportunities for adults and children with physical and learning disabilities.

Cowes Sailability Club has been awarded the money by the foundation to help the charity purchase a specially designed Island-built motorboat that is fully wheelchair accessible. 

Building disabled people’s confidence
It will enable Cowes Sailability Club to offer life-enriching experiences and build disabled people’s confidence by providing access to the sea in a fun, safe and rewarding way.

Cowes Sailability Club is the latest organisation to receive a grant from the IW Foundation this year.

What’s the IW Foundation?
Each year The IW Foundation – comprising Ringway Island Roads, Meridiam, VINCI UK Foundation and VINCI Concession gives grants of between £3,000 and £16,000 to Island charities, good causes and organisations working to tackle social exclusion.

Since 2014, nearly half a million pounds has been given to such causes.

Rooke: “A tremendous boost for us”
Welcoming the IW Foundation money, Trish Rooke, Fundraising Officer, said:

“This grant is a tremendous boost for us. Though we are based in Cowes we are an all-Island charity so a great many people will be able to benefit from the new opportunities this fantastic new boat will bring.

“People with disabilities often have difficulty finding an accessible outdoor activity and as a result sometimes can feel isolated but this new motorboat will help Cowes Sailability Club continue to support members with many different kinds of disabilities.”

Wilks: Total cost is £96,000
Cowes Sailability Club Commodore, Paul Wilks, added:

“The total cost of the boat is around £96,000 so this money is a huge step towards us achieving our target. It is being built by Cheetah Marine of Ventnor and the fact that a local company is supplying the new boat makes the project extra special.

 “We still need more funds however and anyone interested in supporting this project or in getting involved with Cowes Sailability can find out more about us via our Website.”

‘Sponsored’ by staff member
Under the foundation’s grant scheme, an Island Roads employee ‘sponsors’ the application from a group and then acts as a link to build an ongoing bond between the foundation and the recipient.

Island Roads Communication Officer Laura Haytack who sponsored the Cowes Sailability application said:

“Members of Cowes Sailability have told us how liberating sea trips are and how much they look forward to their time on the water with their friends, gaining confidence, self-esteem, self-worth and a sense of community.

“We are delighted to be supporting this fantastic work which makes a great contribution to tackling social exclusion on the Island.”

Gavin shares this latest news on behalf of Island Roads. Ed

Image: L-R Laura Haytack, Paul WIlks, IW Foundation Co-ordinator Sam O’Rourke and Trish Rooke

Wednesday, 27th November, 2019 10:26am



Filed under: Isle of Wight News, Sailing, Top story

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1 Comment on "Cash boost helps Isle of Wight charity reach £96,000 goal for wheelchair friendly boat"

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Much as I applaud wheelchair access to yachts it would be more use if the replacement chain ferry was able to carry wheelchairs and before Island Roads contrutes to sailing they ought to get footpaths and bus stops wheelchair accessible first. If we will get wheelchair accessible yachts wheelchairs cant get to them unaided.