27 May 2015

Fundraising ahoy! Plymouth yacht sets sail for disabled children


On Saturday the 13th of June, dozens of yachts will set sail from Plymouth Hoe to tackle a 26-mile offshore course to raise money for local charities.

Hailed as the South West's premier sailing charity event, the annual Eddystone Charity Sailing Pursuit sees an armada of boats sail from Plymouth Sound to near the Eddystone Lighthouse and back.

Day sailing for disabled children

One of the regular participants in this event is the Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter, ‘Cornubia.’ Skipper and trustee Tony Winter will be raising funds for the Bristol Channel Pilot Cutter Trust.

The charity takes disabled children sailing for the day on Cornubia from Mayflower Marina in Plymouth, up the Tamar River and back down to Plymouth Sound.

Since the project’s beginnings in 2010, the charity has taken nearly 400 disabled children on a total of 95 trips on board the Cornubia.

The trips offer the children a challenge, giving them self-reliance, a chance to work as a team and confidence to overcome fear and step outside their comfort zone.

Depending on their ability, the children will learn navigation skills, the geography of the local area and about the marine environment by looking through the onboard microscope and the specially-written guide.

As day trips are tailored to their needs, children with a wide range of disabilities, including autism, epilepsy, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy and hearing impairments, benefit from a voyage on Cornubia.

The charity doesn’t own Cornubia but charters the boat by the day to keeps costs down. The charity needs to raise around £21,000 a year to take 100 children, and a similar number of carers out. So far the charity has raised funds from grant-giving charities.

“Donors can have faith in MyDonate”

John Hepburn, who helps with the fundraising, says: “Using MyDonate gives the opportunity for individuals, such as friends and relatives of those who have benefitted from their day on board, to help us carry on our work. They can do that either as a simple donation to the charity, or even better, by sponsoring the boat in the Eddystone Pursuit, and MyDonate gives us that flexibility. Gift Aid is a very simple, but valuable add-on.”

He goes on to say: “This is our first foray into online giving, and going with BT gave reassurance that the system would work. That BT sees this as part of its corporate social responsibility is great, especially as it means that MyDonate is free to use. The vetting process also means donors can have faith in the legitimacy of the projects they are asked to support.”

To help disabled children in the South West see the sea differently, sponsor 'Cornubia' in the Eddystone Pursuit.

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