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About Us

Over the last 20 years there have been radical changes in attitudes and services available for people with learning and physical disabilities. People with disabilities are now accessing work and leisure activities and are living longer due to better health care and more opportunity to exercise. The founder members of Telford Sailability have, between them, many years experience of working with this group of people. It was through personal experience of sailing of two of these members, Paul and Celia Devey, which sparked the idea for Telford Sailability.
Paul says:-
“We went with Telford Sailing Club to Clewedog for a sailing and camping weekend in June 2009. The winds were quite strong on the Saturday and a lot of our boats capsized in the race. I noticed though that there was one boat on the lake that hardly tipped up at all let alone capsized. I was curious, so I inquired about it at the club house and was told that it was an Access dinghy, specially built for people with disabilities. This made it very stable even in high winds. I immediately thought about the people that I work with and I realized that the opportunity was there for them to enjoy sailing as I do. “
An internet search showed that the nearest Sailability centre with Access dinghies was at Sneyd water sports centre near Bloxwich. Contact was made with Geoff Moore the senior instructor there and was followed up by a visit to see his facilities. The young people using these boats at Sneyd did so with ease, and it was obvious how much enjoyment they were getting from it.
From April 2010 we took four groups of 6 people with disabilities over to Bloxwich to sail the boats there, as taster sessions. Twenty out of the twenty four said they enjoyed it. The facilities were so popular and well used in the Bloxwich and Walsall area. Bloxwich, while being an excellent venue, is not very convenient for residents of Shropshire as it is a 40 minute bus journey away.
This is where the vision for Telford Sailability started.
A chance meeting with the then Mayor Karen Blundell by the very excited new sailors and myself, happend a few days later. I explained that i wanted to start up a sailability centre here in Telford. She said if we could asemble a committee and mission statement, by the end of the month (two weeks) we could then apply for a Mayoral Grant to help get us started. We were lucky enough to receive £2000
and with £500 from a previous fund raising activitie we were on our way.
The follow spring 2011, with the help of a lottery grant we purchased our first 303 dinghy, and a hoist with a sling.
By 2013 we had built our access fleet up to five dinghies, and a donated skipper dinghy. This enabled us to do sailing sessions all day on Mondays and Fridays. With the help of a Sport England grant we were also able to buy our own safety boat, instead of using the one belonging to the Sailing Club's.
We have also had a Miracle donated to us later that year, and a container to store the safety boat from Johnson Controls.
March 2014 we have just taken delivery of our first 2.4 keel boat. The same type that were used in the Paralympics. A big thank you to Steve Bullmore for all his help, and Mike Browne of Sporting Activities for the Disabled for this dinghy.
So any would be young sailors who would like to get a chance of sailing in the 2020 Paralympics Telford Sailability is the place to go

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