RYA Sailing For All Program
Here at Sail Birmingham we firmly believe that sailing should be available and accessible to all regardless of additional needs. We work in partnership with the Royal Yachting Association and their Sailabiltiy team to provide opportunities and equipment to facilitate sailing sessions for those with additional needs.
We have a small fleet of specially designed boats that have several differences to a standard sailing dinghy – it doesn’t make it any less fun (in fact it means participants can concentrate on having more fun).
See demonstration video below:
Some of the features are:-
- Forward facing seats – our 2 person boats allow one or two people to sail in the same boat without the need to be mobile within the boat.
- Simplified controls – A simple joystick provides the steering
- 1 control for the sail – no need to spend time looking at how to trim the sail perfectly
- Super stable – a huge lead weight under the boat virtually eliminates the possibility of capsize
It’s not just the boats that need to be accessible – we have a purpose built stable pontoon that has a wheelchair accessible ramp so that people can access the boats from the shore easily without needing to get wet. To get the participants into the boats we have, if needed, a hoist that allows transfers from a wheelchair on the pontoon straight down into the boats – we use this often with more able users too with balance problems.
Our Clubhouse facilities:
Within our club house currently only the ground floor is accessible to those with mobility needs, on this floor there is:
– Wheelchair accessible toilet
– Wheelchair accessible shower
– 2 Large group changing rooms, although not wheelchair accessible these have standard doors with benches and showers in each
Thanks to a recent grant we are in the process of enabling the 2nd floor to be accessed by wheelchairs and those with mobility needs by installing an external lift. This will allow access for all to our galley (kitchen), lounge area and large meeting/club room (not forgetting the amazing views across the reservoir!)
We truly believe that everyone is different and this is even more important to take into account in people with additional needs, this is why we won’t book you in until we’ve talked through your and/or your groups needs. This way we can develop a programme that is bespoke to your needs whether it is a one-off session or a series of sessions.
– Taster sessions – an hour on the water getting to grips with being out on the water and embracing a new activity.
– Sailability scheme sessions – We can offer progressive weekly skills courses with our fully trained staff.
– Social Sessions – Look out for chances to get out on the water and meet new people with our drop in sessions through out the week.
If you have any other questions then please get in touch to discuss how we can help and provide a programme that fits your needs.