Rotary Corner: Supporting sailing for the disabled

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A new hoist has been donated to a sailing club to help people with disabilities board its boats, writes Rotarian Rev Clive Doubleday JP BA.

The Rotary Club of Rutland and Uppingham paid for the equipment for Rutland Sailability, based at Rutland Water. The hoist is used to lower people with limited mobility into and out of Sailability boats on the jetty.

Members of the two Rotary clubs have raised and donated over £6,000 for the hoist which will help more people with disability learn how to sail. Andrew St John, chairman of Rutland Sailability, thanked the members of both Rotary clubs for their support over the years and for their most recent and generous donation to pay for the hoist, which was handed over at a special presentation recently.

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He said: “Without this equipment it would be unsafe to try to lift somebody into the boats and off the jetty, as both of them are constantly moving.”

The new hoist being demonstrated by Di Holden, a member of Uppingham Rotary ClubThe new hoist being demonstrated by Di Holden, a member of Uppingham Rotary Club
The new hoist being demonstrated by Di Holden, a member of Uppingham Rotary Club

Bruce Strickland, president of the Rotary Club of Rutland said: “We sponsored a boat for the club since it started and we will continue to raise funds so that we can help in the future.”

Fellow member Richard Bird added: “Sailability is such a worthwhile cause and makes an enormous difference to people’s lives by involving the skill and a degree of courage, which helps build feelings of control and independence, as people of all ages learn how to develop their sailing skills. When aboard the boat their disabilities disappear.”

Rutland Sailability launched 29 years ago at the Rutland Sailing Club. It is supported by donations from individuals and groups like Rotary, and reservoir owners Anglia Water have reduced its fees.