11 November 2016: For BRI’s Peter Windatt, a RYA Sailability Assistant Instructor (helping disabled get out on the water) in his spare time, the end of summer means stowing his sailing gear until Spring is sprung once again next year.
This summer has been a good one for the Northampton Sailability team which operates from Pitsford in North Northants. The winter months provide a time for reflection on the past year’s activities.
- This season saw 62 volunteers, like Peter, working with 60 members with disabilities
- Sailing for those with disabilities is offered every Monday and Friday, April to October, (except Bank Holidays), and also on the first and third Saturday of each month
- With Peter, like most of the BRI team, working a “9 day fortnight”, and so enjoying every other Friday off, Peter has been giving up his Fridays and alternate Saturdays too to help to get disabled members out on the water
- This year Sailability Northampton averaged over 300 visits to the club by disabled members each month
- Next year the team will benefit from a new storeroom, built over the summer and racked out thanks to locally based Travis Perkins, offering more space and easier access to equipment
- Northampton Sailability is run entirely by volunteers, ranging from qualified RYA Senior Instructors to helpers with no sailing experience but with a desire to assist while having a fun and rewarding day
- Peter, who works from all of the BRI offices, but who is generally to be found in either the BRI Milton Keynes or Northampton office, spent the summer of 2015 helping at Sailability in Milton Keynes before moving across to the Northampton group, based at Pitsford, for the summer 2016 season
- Started in 1992, and about to start its 25th season at Pitsford, the group are always looking for new volunteers to help those disabled people who enjoy the freedom sailing can provide – no prior experience necessary – training is available.
- To contact Sailability Northampton please go to : www.northamptonsailability.org.uk or for Sailability Milton Keynes : www.mksc.org.uk/sailability.html