Supporting young people through sailing
All Afloat provides opportunities for young people to access sailing who may otherwise not have had a chance. They promote healthy lifestyles and teach vital life skills. £7,120 from Gwynt y Môr Wind Farm Fund enabled the project to purchase a disabled pontoon and hoist to enable disabled sailors to access boats opening up their activities to even more people.
All Afloat has also being working with children with many complex needs both socially and educationally, for example, ASD, anxiety issues, PTSD, behavioural issues, dyslexia and dyspraxia. Some of the children have been involved in knife crime outside of the project. Some of their most regular children are in a special unit in school for those with challenging behaviour and many struggle to engage with anything.
The kindness, patience and support of instructors, the projects engagement with the wider community including the local police, the excitement, freedom and the pleasure of being on the water and the consistency of regular weekly sessions have had a life changing impact. They have seen behaviour changing dramatically for the better, attendance at school improving and young people learning how to engage more positively with other people and starting to benefit from some of the opportunities that every child should have. Children talk about it nonstop and are behaving better in class if they know that the chance to go sailing could be taken away from them.
One child came to them with anxiety issues they had to work carefully and slowly to allow the child to trust everyone and do it in her own time. The child’s mother, said, “my child has support from team around the Family and the Disability Wellbeing Co-ordinator, I hope you don't mind but I told them how amazing you had been at supporting them and how positive an experience it had been.”
Based on the success of this initiative All Afloat have gone on to secure a further £7,008 in funding from the Gwynt y Môr Wind Farm Fund to deliver a similar project in Llandudno.