Roger Sutton

Trip organised with National Lottery funding helps to relieve social isolation.

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A grant from the National Lottery Community Fund helped Cowes Sailability Club to organise a boating trip for a group of people aged between 45 and 60 with early onset dementia.  The cruise departed from Cowes on the Isle of Wight and went to Buckler’s Hard in the New Forest, giving the participants the opportunity to have an uplifting day out in company with other people. 

Anna Roberts, Charity Liaison Officer from Alzheimer’s Café Isle of Wight, says: “People with early onset dementia usually have to give up work and other pastimes and so consequently often find themselves spending a lot of time on their own.  They can become very insular and lonely.  The trip organised by Cowes Sailability Club encouraged people on the Isle of Wight with early onset dementia to get outside and do something sociable with others, which is so important.” 

On the day of the cruise, it was sunny with a blue sky and calm waters.  “It was so lovely to be able to speed across the Solent all the way to the mainland and back,” Anna adds.  “The trip to Bucklers Hard in the New Forest enabled the group to have such a lot of fun with a family member, as well as other people who understand them and the difficulties they face.”

Cowes Sailability Club was able to offer this trip for the group from the Alzheimer’s Café Isle of Wight, thanks to a grant provided by the National Lottery Community Fund.  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. 

“The support we received from the National Lottery Community Fund in 2022 has been absolutely fantastic,” says Trish Rooke, Fundraising Officer at Cowes Sailability Club.  “Using this grant we have been able to provide trips for many groups – not just the Alzheimer’s Café – and really help to improve the wellbeing of people with disabilities on the Isle of Wight.”

The trip for the Alzheimer’s Café group took place in July 2022 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. 

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To find out more about the National Lottery Community Fund visit