Sailability event wins top award

Posted on the 14th November 2018

The annual Sailability event which allows WellChild children and their families to have fun on the water has won a prestigious award for encouraging accessibility.

Sailability, which takes place each year at the Carsington Sailing Club in Derbyshire, won the Most Inclusive Event category in the Accessible Derbyshire Awards 2018. Each year the award goes to an event which has gone the extra mile to welcome people with access needs.

The award ceremony was held on Saturday 10th November at Chatsworth House Derbyshire in front of around 150 guests. Gary Flint, Sailability Volunteer at Carsington, attended on behalf of Carsington Sailing Club.

After picking up the award he said: “The award was a testimony to all the hard work and dedication that everyone contributed on the day to make it a success. It was an honour and privilege to meet and bring enjoyment to the inspiring children and their families.”

Each year the Sailability event hosts WellChild families from across the UK at the tranquil setting of Carsington Water in Derbyshire, allowing children with access needs to get out on the water on a family boat trip with an experienced crew. There are hoists and specialist equipment available to help sailors in and out of boats as well as a range of suitable craft including a wheelchair accessible boat.  As well as the sailing there are other fun things to do on the day including a picnic, fancy dress competition, magic show and balloon modeling.

Inspiration for the Sailability day came from event organiser Dr David Thomas, Consultant Paediatrician at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, who is a keen sailor and member of Carsington Sailing Club. His years of professional experience have highlighted to him the therapeutic benefits that sailing can offer children with exceptional health needs.

WellChild Chief Executive Colin Dyer said; “We are delighted that Sailability has won this award which it so richly deserves. The event is a fantastic opportunity for WellChild families to get out together for a fun day and for children, many of whom have complex needs, to experience the freedom of sailing out on the open water. A big thank you to the organisers, the volunteers and all involved in Sailability for the hard work that they put into the event.”

The Accessible Derbyshire Awards were launched in 2016 by the Accessible Derbyshire charity and they aim to celebrate the people, places and projects that help to make Derbyshire and the Peak District accessible to all.

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