Under the Sea fun for local families of children with exceptional health needs!

Posted on the 14th August 2018

Families with children who have exceptional health needs took to the water in an ‘Under the Sea’ themed accessible sailing event at Carsington Water Sailing Club, Derbyshire.

The ‘Sailability Summer Splash’ was the inspiration of Dr David Thomas who is a Consultant Paediatrician at Nottingham Children’s Hospital. Dr Thomas is a keen sailor and member of Carsington Sailing Club.

This was the fourth year running Dr Thomas decided to team up with WellChild to organise the event because his years of professional experience have highlighted to him that sailing has a lot to offer children who have exceptional health, and often complex care needs.

The event, which was free to attend, included specially designed access boats for children and young people with disabilities with expert crews and specialised equipment to help sailors in and out of boats.

“Many of the children here today, because of their conditions, are often denied the opportunities that most other children and young people get. So it was wonderful to see so many of them out on the water, regardless of their abilities.”

Dr Thomas

See all the photos from the Sailability event on Flickr here>>

As well as setting sail, and thanks to the many people who generously donated via our Sailability Just Giving page, there were lots of on shore activities for families to enjoy too.  These included clay model making, fancy dress competition, lucky dips, treasure hunt and much, much more.  The day even included magic shows and balloon modelling with Children’s Entertainer, Mrs Sparkle!

WellChild Head of Family Services, Hannah Bemand said: “This event is a fantastic opportunity for families from the area to meet, have fun and take part in a great event. Families caring for a child with exceptional health needs can often feel isolated and alone. Events like this bring families who are all facing similar challenges together to make good friends and great memories.”

Over 30 families were able to take to the water on the day, some for the very first time! The day was a great success and thanks to all the volunteers, it was a day enjoyed by everyone who attended.

“It was amazing. We can’t thank all the WellChild team, staff and volunteers who gave up their Saturday so Jack could enjoy this and for giving us as a family, the opportunity to sail together. It’s a memory we’ll treasure”

Michelle, Sailability Summer Splash attendee

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