Char­i­ties launch new boat

Young peo­ple to ben­e­fit from sen­sory stim­u­la­tion of get­ting afloat

Motorboat & Yachting - - News -

Two na­tional char­i­ties, Young Epilepsy and the Wheely­boat Trust, have launched a brand new ac­ces­si­ble power­boat to get young peo­ple afloat.

The Coulam Wheely­boat V20 was launched at Weir Wood Reser­voir in East Sus­sex. It will be used by St Piers School and Col­lege stu­dents, who suf­fer from epilepsy, autism and other neu­ro­log­i­cal con­di­tions. It’s part of the school’s well-es­tab­lished boat­ing pro­gramme in which stu­dents ben­e­fit from a pos­i­tive sen­sory stim­u­la­tion as well as the plea­sure of be­ing on the water. Over 180 stu­dents will be able to use the boat, and some will even be able to learn to helm it.

De­vel­oped by the Wheely­boat Trust, a char­ity ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing peo­ple with ac­cess to wa­ter­borne ac­tiv­i­ties, the pur­pose-built boat is de­signed to ac­com­mo­date the needs of less in­de­pen­dent stu­dents and has flex­i­ble seat­ing, a level deck and a wa­ter­tight bow door that low­ers to form a solid ramp, cre­at­ing easy ac­cess for peo­ple who find board­ing from an un­sta­ble plat­form chal­leng­ing. Fit­ted with a 90hp Suzuki out­board, the boat has a top speed of 30mph.

The Wheely­boat Trust and Young Epilepsy have worked to­gether since July 2015 when seven stu­dents from St Piers School and Col­lege were able to try out the Coulam Wheely­boat V20 for the first time. St Piers has run a boat­ing pro­gram for 28 years, but this new boat will be the first wheelchairac­ces­si­ble ves­sel in the school’s fleet.

Scott Bap­tie, head of phys­i­cal ed­u­ca­tion at St Piers School, with his pre­de­ces­sor Mar­cus Frisby, com­pleted a Three Lakes Chal­lenge last year, pad­dling two open ca­noes down three lakes in 24 hours, rais­ing £3,500 to­wards the cost of the Wheely­boat. The Wheely­boat Trust also sup­ported Young Epilepsy by rais­ing 40% of the fully fit­ted craft’s cost of £41,000.

The Wheely­boat Trust re­lies on the sup­port of in­di­vid­u­als, com­pa­nies and char­i­ta­ble or­gan­i­sa­tions to fund its ac­tiv­i­ties. Do­na­tions can be made at www.wheely­­nate.html.

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