Friday, 04 September 2015

Sailing charity seeks new hands in West Cumbria

A charity may be lost if more people do not come forward to be part of its committee.

sailability 0911
GOING ASHORE: Founder and chairman of Sailability Ged Doran, right, with treasurer and secretary Rodney Mostin

Sailability Cumbria started 12 years ago to give disabled people the chance to experience sailing on the open water.

The charity’s chairman and founder, Ged Doran, and its secretary and treasurer, Rodney Mostyn, are stepping down because of other commitments and if no one can replace them it may have to close.

A skipper with the charity, Eric Mounsey, of Poole Road, Salterbeck, is also stepping down after 10 years.

Mr Doran, 63, of Woodville Way, High Harrington, said: “We urge people to come forward.

“No one knows more than us the responsibility and commitment needed but if people don’t get involved it dies a death.”

The scheme began in 2000 when Mr Doran met a group from the Isle of Man who were involved in Sailing for the Disabled.

He started raising funds to launch a similar scheme in West Cumbria.

With the help of friends and volunteers he raised enough money to buy a 38ft yacht in 2004.

Mr Doran, operations manager at PPM and a part-time harbour master for Allerdale council, said: “I went round a lot of disabled groups which wanted to take part.

“I had to go through seven different insurance companies just to get insured and the conditions and limitations they put on it were unbelievable.

“If it hadn’t been for Maryport marina I would have had to give the money and the boat back, but all the people there have been fantastic.”

The charity has now been opened up to accept youth groups and older people’s groups.

Mr Mostyn, 75, of Kirkbride, who joined in 2004, said: “The best memories are when you see disabled people arrive with fear and trepidation, but when we come back to shore they are full of smiles.”

The charity is seeking six or seven new committee members. Anyone interested can contact Mr Mostyn at rodney.mostyn@btinternet. com or go along to the charity’s annual meeting at Workington Cricket Club on Tuesday from 7.30pm.

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