Otley sailing scheme for disabled receives a funding windfall

Sailor James, from the Hollybank Trust, front, with Otley Sailing Club’s Commodore Paul Karran, left, and the chairman of the Building and Engineering Services Association (Yorkshire Region), Daniel Ball

Sailor James, from the Hollybank Trust, front, with Otley Sailing Club’s Commodore Paul Karran, left, and the chairman of the Building and Engineering Services Association (Yorkshire Region), Daniel Ball

First published in News Wharfedale Observer: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Otley Sailing Club’s award-winning work with disabled people has received another funding boost.

The Building and Engineering Services Association, a long-time supporter, has donated a further £2,000.

The money will be used by the club, which last year added a Duke of York Community Initiative award to its Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service, develop and expand its Sailfree programme.

Part of the RYA’s national Sailability scheme, the initiative uses a fleet of specialised dinghies to allow people with disabilities and learning difficulties to enjoy the freedom of being out on the water.

The Building and Engineering Services Association’s regional manager, Neil Ashford, and chairman (Yorkshire Region), Daniel Ball, presented the club with their donation this week.

Mr Ashford said: “We continue to recognise the brilliant work that Otley Sailing Club is doing to allow disabled people access to the sport of sailing.

“I hope this money will support the outstanding work they are doing.”

Receiving the contribution, Commodore Paul Karran said: “This donation is very very welcome and you can rest assured the money goes to a good cause.

“Without donations like these we couldn’t survive and keep doing what we are doing and expanding and developing our facilities and programme.

“It is much appreciated - thanks very much.”

The Otley club has been offering sailing and Royal Yachting Association training to enthusiasts since 1958 and, from 1989, has also been providing the opportunity for people with disabilities to take part via Sailfree.

Dozens of residents from the Hollybank Trust, which cares for and educates children and adults with complex needs, have been enjoying regular weekly sessions at Otley Sailing Club since 1994.

The Trust’s staff have also undertaken training at the club so they can be more self-sufficient during their visits.

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