A new Prior’s Court Wheelyboat, named after Founding Patron, Dame Stephanie Shirley, set sail on her maiden voyage at Burghfield Sailing Club on Thursday 13th April.

The new Wheelyboat provides all 80 of the young people with autism and severe learning difficulties who are supported by the charity with the opportunity to go sailing on a regular basis, as well as benefiting those from other local groups who attend Burghfield Sailability who will also be able to use the boat. 

David Martin, chairperson of Sailability, a voluntary organisation dedicated to bringing boating to people with disabilities on equal terms, said “It is a pleasure to volunteer and see the enjoyment the young people from Prior’s Court gain from attending - each week their confidence builds and skills increase. This year we are delighted that we have successfully launched Dame Stephanie and this will directly benefit both the young people at Prior’s Court and members of the local community.”

Sailability enables the young people at Prior's Court to engage in what is for many an enjoyable sensory activity, provides an opportunity for social integration with the wider local community and promotes the learning and development of new skills, with the opportunity to complete an increased number of ASDAN units as well as working towards RYA Sailability certificates of achievement.    

Thank you again to The Wheelyboat Trust, Burghfield Sailability and all who supported the project, raising almost £35,000 to make it possible.