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Cheque from Farnham community grant scheme for Sailability charity project

Two people in a blue sailing boat

Farnham Town Council has presented a cheque for £2,000 to Sailability, bringing the disability charity based at Frensham Pond ever closer to reaching its ambition to build a new activity centre.

“Sailability is an amazing local charity that enables people with disabilities and long-term illnesses to enjoy the challenge, thrill and pleasure of sailing. The charity is currently fundraising to build a fully accessible multi-purpose building to support their work and we are very pleased to contribute,” says Councillor Alan Earwaker, Mayor of Farnham. 

Sailability’s project will see the creation of an activity centre with indoor and outdoor facilities featuring ramped access, a training and social room, storage area plus accessible toilets and first aid facilities. The total budget for the project is £130,000. Sailability has already allocated £40,000 of funds to the project and is fundraising to raise the remaining £90,000.

“The new centre is vital for helping our sailors learn the skills and develop their sailing ability. While our emphasis at Sailability is on activity on the water, on-shore facilities are key to effective training. The centre will enable our trainers to use up-to-date interactive tools and techniques and to customise their approach to our groups and individuals who have a wide spectrum of needs,” says Simon Crowther, Trustee responsible for fund raising from Sailability.

The centre will also have basic facilities such as accessible toilets to replace existing toilets that are over 100m from the water.

Sailability was established 21 years ago and has since built an active community of sailors with a range of disabilities and additional needs, supported by over 100 volunteer helpers. The charity has a fleet of 29 boats and offers taster sessions, one-off experiences and regular sailing sessions. The charity points to the freedom and exhilaration and feeling of relaxation as just some of the benefits of supported and independent sailing. The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists recommends sailing as an excellent activity to regain full movement and control.

Farnham Town Council manages the Community Grant scheme, which provides one-off grants or support for schemes over a period of up to three years. The scheme is open to local not-for-profit organisations looking for financial support for work that promotes community life or the environment for the benefit of the town or surrounding villages.

Successful applicants in recent years have included a wide range of projects including facilities for young people, older people and people with disabilities, community halls, sports and heritage projects and many more. The deadline for the next round of applications is this autumn. Full details are on Farnham Town Council’s website.

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