“I can enjoy myself with people I haven't met before.”
Thanks to funding from The Whirlwind Charitable Trust, MACS can take 11 young people on a sailing adventure from Ipswich to Southampton.
MACS conditions are incurable. For many the absence of eyes is linked to brain development and they may also have learning difficulties and behavioural problems. MACS children are disadvantaged by their visual impairment, but also by facial disfigurement.
Taking a MACS child on a sailing trip is a life-changing experience. They learn teamwork, independence and communication. The children also achieve new skills: plotting points on charts, filling in the ships log, calculating distances and communicating with the Coast Guard.
“I was able to contribute towards group tasks.”
Sea-Change works to educate young people and vulnerable adults through sailing aboard a Thames sailing barge, developing their physical, mental and social capabilities so they may grow to full maturity as individuals and members of society with, in many cases, their conditions of life improved.
Whirlwind is kindly supporting two separate groups with whom we shall be working this autumn, 2017.
The first will provide seagoing experience to ten pupils attending the London Nautical School and considering maritime careers. They will spend five days aboard under sail.
The second will support several days at sea for two groups of ten from the London-based Single Homeless Project. Following the success of a highly successful pilot project, they have been identified as likely to benefit from a similar residential sailing experience.
Thanks to the generosity of The Whirlwind Charitable Trust, we will provide day sails and two residential voyages to disadvantaged young people from Plymouth. Sailing is an excellent platform for the development of personal and practical skills.
This project will engender a ‘sense of place’ in a community that, despite living in a maritime city, sometimes fails to engage with the sea. The voyages will encourage young people to understand the opportunities that the marine/maritime sector presents and to appreciate the need for the conservation of the marine environment.
The young people will steer the boat, raise the sails and anchor and help with domestic tasks on board. They will experience the joy and challenge of a life at sea.
Our 2017 ‘Spirit of Adventure’ project for adults with a visual impairment has been expanded and developed year on year with our beneficiaries at its heart. Adults with a disability do not have the same opportunities as others to take part in adventurous activities due to the specialist equipment, expertise and staffing levels required.
Thanks to a grant from The Whirlwind Charitable Trust, this year we can support two sailing courses – teaching six visually impaired adults and two sighted guides navigation, seamanship skills and working towards an RYA recognised qualification. This grant also supports ‘taster’ weekends for 10 visually impaired adults where participants can try a variety of other adventurous activities, such as caving and climbing, that they never thought possible.