A young woman with cerebral palsy and her mother have raised £1,800 for Cowes Sailability Club, by achieving awe-inspiring personal goals.

Have you been inspired by Wendy’s and Elbie’s achievements?  There’s still time to donate or consider organising your own sponsored event



After enjoying many hours of fun on the water with Cowes Sailability Club last summer, Wendy and Elbie Todd decided to raise funds for the charity by setting themselves incredibly ambitious personal goals. Wendy swam the equivalent of the length of the Isle of Wight, using only her arms, while Elbie walked from Yarmouth to Cowes just months after a major operation.  Through their achievements, the two women raised more than £1,800, which will help Cowes Sailability Club to run more water-based activities for people with disabilities in the summer of 2019.

Wendy’s swimming marathon of 25 miles took place in Gurnard Pines Swimming pool, where she completed 1,610 laps in total during one month.  Her cerebral palsy means that she can only use her arms to propel herself in the water, but she still managed an average of 100 laps per night.

“Starting off was daunting, as I didn’t know if I would be able to complete the challenge,” Wendy says.  “Then, when I got half way, I started to relax, because I realised that I could do it. Even when I got an ear infection and had to pause for a few days, I still felt optimistic.  One night I did 200 laps, which made me feel really good about myself, and then when I completed the very last lap I was really, really pleased!”

Wendy’s mother Elbie walked 17.5 miles along the coastal path from Yarmouth to Cowes, in a single day.  “I am so proud that I managed to complete the whole route, especially as I had quite a major operation just a few months before,” Elbie says.  “I really enjoyed seeing the beauty of the countryside. You just don’t appreciate the island in the same way when you are driving through it.”

She adds: “We would like to thank everyone who sponsored us and helped us organise our fundraising events.  We are delighted to have raised such a large amount of money for Cowes Sailability Club and are already looking forward to the start of the 2019 sailing season!”