Island residents who depend on wheelchairs for mobility will be able to enjoy trips aboard ‘Dougal II’ again this summer, thanks to a welcome grant awarded by Wight AID.
Cowes Sailability Club has received a grant of £1,280 from the Wight AID Foundation, which will be used to help cover the running costs for Dougal II during the 2017 sailing season. This very popular vessel is specially adapted to allow wheelchair users and people with limited mobility to experience the excitement of a boating excursion, along with their friends, family and carers.
“Dougal II is a vitally important boat for Cowes Sailability Club, because it makes the sea accessible to the widest possible number of people,” says Patrick de Peyer, Commodore of Cowes Sailability Club. “Adults and children with incredibly challenging physical and mental disabilities can easily board and cast off for a highly rewarding and memorable adventure on the water.”
Founded in September 2016, the Wight Aid Foundation raises funds from local businesses and distributes them to a range of charities and good causes on the island. “The great work by Cowes Sailability, allows many people who are otherwise excluded from many activities the chance to participate in sailing,” says Geoff Underwood, Chairman of Wight AID. “This is exactly the type of organisation that Wight AID is keen to support. They are changing the lives of Island people.”
A motor catamaran, Dougal II can carry ten people at a time, including up to four wheelchair users. The boat has a wide flat base and secure access ramp which enables anyone in a wheelchair or using a walking aid to board quickly and safely with the minimum of fuss.