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Charity Spotlight: Telford Sailability

Charity Spotlight: Telford Sailability

| by Editor | Posted in Telford Wellbeing

On Friday 23rd June, Telford Daily PRSS editor, Simon, set off for Priorslee Lake to meet with Paul Devey, co-founder of Telford Sailability; an organisation that offers a sailing experience to people with disabilities and special needs in Telford.

Telford Sailability was established in 2010 with the single vision of providing a disabled access sailing experience to those in need, in Telford. Following a conversation with Karen Blundell, the (then) Mayor of Telford, Paul and his wife Celia formed a committee and successfully applied for a mayoral grant. This enabled them to buy their first specially adapted boat.

In the years since, Paul and his team of dedicated volunteers have raised thousands of pounds and now have five access dinghies, a new keel dinghy and a skipper, and they now have their very own safety boat.

When I arrived, Paul was busy getting some very excited young sailors from Options Day Care into the dinghies using the special hoist and slings. Crewed up with their careers and out on the water for an hour, these young people are truly free; no wheelchairs needed, just quiet and fun. Once they were all safely out on the water, Paul and I jumped into the safety boat and went out to keep an eye on the dinghies, with Paul offering tips and advice, and where necessary a helping hand.

During an hour on the lake, Paul was telling me that things take a little longer to get going now as he has to put the specially adapted H Pontoon and boats into the water by hand as four weeks ago someone broke into their container and stole the small tractor that makes this process so much quicker. He asks that if anyone knows anything about this theft, please contact either the club or the police.

If there is anyone in the Telford area that has an old tractor or tractor mower they don’t need any longer and would like to donate it to the club, it would be very gratefully received!

This year, Paul plans to extend the services that the club can offer and is trying to get some funding so they can start an after school sailing club for children with learning difficulties and behavioural problems on a Friday afternoon from 3:30 to 5:30. If you run a business in Telford and feel you might be able to help with sponsorship please contact Paul for more information. The Elizabethan in Woodside have donation tubs on the bar and hold events to raise funds for the club.

As my hour on the water came to an end and we docked so Paul could supervise getting everybody safely back on shore, I was left in no doubt of the amazing work that Telford Sailability does and how they help to improve the lives of those who need it.

If you are interested in sailing, have some spare time and want to offer some support to Telford Sailability, please contact Paul for more information.

Telford Sailability is based at Telford Sailing Club and information is available on their website or on their Facebook Page

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