Peterborough Sailability was launched in 2006, after our friends at Rutland Sailability suggested that the lake at Ferry Meadows would be very suitable for disabled sailing. Supported initially by the 6 Rotary clubs in Peterborough, Whittlesey and Oundle, we have grown into a successful operation. In our first summer, we ran just one afternoon a week, with 3 sailing boats and 6 sailors in total. We now operate on two full days a week, with 9 boats and more than 150 sailors.
Our Helpers (all 70 of us) are unpaid volunteers. Some are qualified sailors, taking members out on the water. Others are shore-based, launching and recovering the boats, rigging and repairing boats and equipment, handling bookings, helping sailors get togged up in protective clothing and buoyancy aids, and generally being chatty and sociable!
Sailors can improve their skills via the RYA Sailability Certificate of Achievement Scheme.
We are very grateful for the continuing support we get from various sources, both practical and financial. Among these are Nene Park Trust, the Royal Yachting Association, Inspire Peterborough, Vivacity, local Rotary Clubs and many other organisations, individuals and groups.
Mike Gallon, responsible for the Rotary-Sailability partnership nationally, has a useful saying:
"Get Sailors - Get Money - Get Helpers"
We have been quite successful so far in getting all three of these. But if we are to grow – and offer sailing to a greater number of disabled people, then we will continue to need more Volunteer Helpers.
If you would like to help, or know of someone else who might, then please get in touch with us..