Over the last  20 years there have been  radical changes  in attitudes and services  available  for  people  with  learning  and  physical  disabilities. People with disabilities are now accessing work and leisure activities and are  living  longer  due  to  better  health  care  and  more  opportunity  to exercise.  The  founder  members  of  Telford  Sailability  have,  between them, many years experience of working with this group of people. It was through personal experience of sailing of two of these members, Paul and Celia Devey, which sparked the idea for Telford Sailability.
Paul says:-
“We  went  with  Telford  Sailing  Club  to  Clewedog  for  a  sailing  and camping  weekend in  June  2009.  The  winds  were  quite  strong  on the Saturday and a lot of our boats capsized in the race. I noticed though that there was  one  boat  on  the  lake  that  hardly  tipped up  at  all  let  alone capsized. I was  curious, so  I inquired  about it at the club house and was told that it was an Access boat, specially built for people with disabilities. This made it very stable even in high winds. I immediately thought of the people I work with and realized that  the opportunity  was there for them to enjoy sailing as I do.
This is where the vision for Telford Sailability started.
An internet search showed that the nearest Sailability centre with Access boats was at Sneyd water sports centre near Bloxwich. Contact was made with Geoff  Moore the  senior instructor  there and was followed  up by a visit to see his facilities. The young people using these boats at Sneyd did so with ease, and it was obvious how much enjoyment they were getting from it.
At  the  begining  of  May  2010  we  took  a  group  of  23  people   with disabilities over three sessions to Bloxwich to sail the boats there. 19 of them loved it.

A few days after these taster  session we were at an event  were the then Mayor of Telford, Karen Blundel, was there, she wanted to speak to our guys  about the photo’s that  were on display but  all they wanted to talk about was the sailing sessions that they had been on. I said “We need to be able to do this in Telford”

At the end of the event Karen approached me and said “ If  you can form a  committee  by next  month,  and get  a constitution  in place you could apply for a mayoral grant.”

We got £2,000 and that got us started. With a grant from the national lottery  we  were  able  to buy  our  first dinghy, hoist and sling ( modelled by me somewhere on this site)

With continued fund raising and hard work we now have our own safety boat  six  Access  dingies, a  Stradavari 2.4  keel  boat , and  Miracle  and Skipper sailing dingies and a pontoon which carries the hoist and enables more people to access our dinghies quicker and safer

We will continue to expand who we cater for because we know sailing is for everyone