Sussex Sailability urgently seeks volunteers

Sussex Sailability, based at Sussex Yacht Club, is urgently looking for volunteers who can sail to support its members as they take to the water.

Twelve volunteers are needed who would enable disabled sailors to learn and enjoy the sport, in a safe and controlled environment, on the charity’s specially adapted boats.

Kevin Headon of Sussex Sailability said, “There’s nothing like feeling the freedom of the water, it’s a life-changing experience for our sailors – some of whom have had very little experience of sailing when they join us.

“At the moment we can’t provide enough sessions for all our sailors, because we just don’t have enough volunteers.  So, if you can sail and have a little spare time then we’d really welcome your help.

“We need experienced skippers, especially small keelboat or dinghy sailors, but we are also looking for those who have a background in sailing who are willing to learn.  Additionally, we need safety boat qualified volunteers, ideally with a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Safety Boat qualification or people with a PB2 licence who would like to work towards their Safety Boat qualification.

“Volunteering is incredibly rewarding, especially when you see the positive difference that you are making to someone’s life.  We provide all the training that’s needed and free or highly subsidised nationally recognised RYA qualifications.

“All we ask is that you commit to at least one day each month supporting us over the summer.”

Chris Hodge is the chairman of Sussex Sailability and has been sailing since he was paralysed in a sporting accident sixteen years ago.  He said, “I love that sailing has given me the opportunities for adventure and competition that I enjoyed before my accident.  Sussex Sailability's fleet of boats, which are adapted for use by disabled people, allow me to get out on the water and to take part in races alongside able-bodied people. 

“Volunteers are an important part of Sussex Sailability; helping to keep the boats in good condition, getting them ready to go sailing and allowing disabled sailors to learn, improve their skills and get the most from their sailing.  This enables Sussex Sailability to make sailing one of the few sports that is totally inclusive for disabled people.”

To find out more about volunteering for Sussex Sailability email Kevin at sussexsailability@gmail.com for details.

www.sussexsailability.org.uk