Little Britain Challenge Cup
Islanders with disabilities are back on the water with wide smiles, following many months of social isolation and health anxiety.

Cowes Sailability Club is once again providing opportunities for adults and young people with disabilities to socialise and engage in invigorating outdoor activities. Operating with social distancing measures in place, the charity is offering motorboat trips for people with a wide range of physical and learning disabilities, including wheelchair users.

Max Cockbain Loureiro (pictured) went out on the first boat trip of 2021, along with his mum and stepdad, and thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

“Max has had a tough time recently with lockdown and other issues, so getting out on the water with Cowes Sailability Club literally was a breath of fresh air,” says his mum, Sarah Cockbain. “It was great for him to feel free of the daily restraints of being a wheelchair user and doing an activity that is fully accessible. Our smiles say it all. Thank you Cowes Sailability!”

Cowes Sailability Club charted the wheelchair-accessible motorboat Wetwheels for this excursion, with funding from the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Community Foundation (HIWCF), an independent charitable foundation specialising in building funds and awarding grants on behalf of donors and fund holders. HIWCF awarded Cowes Sailability Club 1,849.00 for four days’ charter hire, as well as an engine service and new radio for the club’s patrol boat.

“We are so grateful to HIWCF for its support,” says Trish Rooke, Fundraising Officer at Cowes Sailability Club. “It is lovely to be able to offer motorboat trips for disabled people on the Isle of Wight again, especially after so many of them have had a difficult time during the coronavirus pandemic. Being on the water really lifts their spirits and makes them feel positive again.”

Places are available for trips throughout the summer. Anyone with a disability, or their family or carer, should contact Cowes Sailability for more information about joining the club.

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