Roger Sutton

Boat trips organised by Cowes Sailability Club improve feelings of wellbeing in people affected by stroke.

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Following on from the success of last year, Cowes Sailability Club will once again be organising boating trips for people who have survived strokes on the Isle of Wight this summer.  Boat trips lift the spirits of people who have been disabled or affected by stroke and enable them to have stimulating experiences in a safe and welcoming environment.

During the course of 2022, Cowes Sailability Club was able to provide a day out on the water for a group from the Isle of Wight Stroke Club, thanks to a grant from the National Lottery Community Fund.  Members of the Isle of Wight Stroke Club have also taken part in other trips in previous years.

“The boating trips organised by Cowes Sailability Club are wonderful experiences for stroke survivors and their carers,” says Mike Gouldson, Treasurer of the Isle of Wight Stroke Club.  “The trips encourage stroke survivors to venture outside of their homes and have a very different and exciting experience.  Even if our members only have the use of one hand, they can hold onto the helm, with help, and enjoy the sensation of steering the boat through the waves.”

The most recent trip took place on a wheelchair-accessible motorboat, chartered for the day by Cowes Sailability Club and owned and operated by Wetwheels Hamble CIC.  Specially designed to cater for people with disabilities, Wetwheels Hamble can accommodate ten passengers, including up to three wheelchairs. 

“Many members of the Isle of Wight Stroke Club use wheelchairs, but they are still able to take part and it is lovely to see the smiles on their faces when they are on the water,” Mike says.  “The volunteers from Cowes Sailability Club are very patient and helpful.  This means that family members who often care for stroke survivors day-in, day-out, can relax and enjoy a welcome change of scene too.” 

He adds: “We would like to say a huge thank you to the National Lottery Community Fund and Cowes Sailability Club.  The Isle of Wight Stroke Club is a charity that is completely self-funding so the opportunities provided by Cowes Sailability Club are greatly appreciated.”

Trish Rooke, Cowes Sailability Club’s Fundraising Officer says: “We are so grateful to the National Lottery Community Fund for its support.  The grant that it provided in 2022 enabled us to organise several boating trips not only for stroke survivors, but also those with memory loss and other groups of people with disabilities on the Isle of Wight.  Grants are absolutely essential to us to enable us to continue to offer the life-enriching opportunities that boating and sailing provides.” 

National Lottery players raise over £30 million a week for good causes across the UK.  The National Lottery Community Fund distributes a share of this to projects to support people and communities to prosper and thrive.

To find out more about the National Lottery Community Fund visit