Boat donations to help provide freedom for those living with disabilities
- Credit: Nick Butcher
A group which provides sailing opportunities for those with mental and physical disabilities has been gifted two new boats.
Waveney Sailability received the Hansa 303 wide sailing dinghies from The Edward and Ivy Rose Hood memorial Fund.
The boats, aptly named 'Ted Hood' and 'Ivy Rose Hood', were officially presented to the group at Waveney and Oulton Broad Yacht Club on Tuesday, June 5.
John Charters, one of the fund's trustees, said: 'Waveney Sailability enables people with disabilities to enjoy sailing; helping people enjoy the freedoms, pleasures and thrills of being in a boat on the water.
'It is a venture which excites the trustees.'
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In total the trust donated £20,000; £15,000 for the boats and £5,000 for continued maintenance.
Sailability chairman Richard Morling was delighted with the 'generous' donation which will benefit the group for years to come.
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He said: 'It's absolutely fantastic – the two new boats will now replace older ones.
'We have got them now for another 13 to 15 years which means we don't have to hunt around for replacements.'
He added: 'To have £5,000 to spend how we please is extremely useful. You only have to look around to see its importance.'
One person who knows the benefits of the sailability club more than most is 54-year-old Steve Sims.
Mr Sims, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, has been part of the group since it formed around 13 years ago.
When he first began sailing Mr Sims used crutches however over the years his condition has deteriorated and he now relies on a wheelchair.
He said: 'I enjoy everything about it; the freedom of being out on your own -coming here is my favourite day of the week.
'When you are disabled there a re a lot of things you are not in control of but when I'm out in the boat I'm in complete control – it's my freedom for the week.'
The group meets every Tuesday afternoon at Waveney and Outlon Broad Yacht Club where members can enjoy training and racing out on the Broads.
There are currently 60 members attending each week but the group say they are always willing to have people come along and experience the joys of sailing.
For more information visit www.waveneysailability.co.uk