The association will be using the funds to buy an adapted Hanse 345

The Disabled Sailing Association (DSA) has

been awarded a grant of £49,824 to put towards buying a an adapted sailing yacht as part of their project, Freedom 2.

The sailing charity were given the funds by

the People’s Millions, an initiative run between Big Lottery Fund and ITV, with

members of the public deciding the winners each year.

Project Freedom 2 will use the money to

purchase an adapted Hanse 345 so they can take more disabled people out

sailing.

The DSA’s Shirley Musgrove said: “We’ve

been trying to raise the money for a couple of years now and this is the final

amount.

“All our members are so pleased, we’re over

the moon.”

Fundraising for the new boat has been

taking place over the last two years, with grants from other organisations and

donations from local people.

The yacht will feature a specially designed

ramp that will be added to the boat’s swimming platform, making it fully

accessible to all disabilities.

In addition, they’ll be two steering wheels

on board, meaning an instructor and crewmember can sail at the same time.

“We had people who haven’t been able to

come out sailing and now they will,” added Mrs Musgrove.

The charity was given the good news

yesterday morning at the pontoon in Torquay where their other yacht Freedom is moored.

They already own a Hanse 350, which they

bought using funding from the People’s Millions back in 2007.

A competition will be launched in a couple

of week’s time to name their new yacht.

The work the charity does aims to encourage

social integration, teamwork and confidence, in additio to giving the sailors a sense of freedom.

“Even if they can only mange an hour, it

gives people confidence and they come back in with big smiley faces,” said Mrs Musgrove.