Yesterday (15 March 2018), Action4Youth launched the region’s first specially adapted power boat, which offers young wheelchair users and those with high dependency needs, the opportunity to enjoy the excitement of water sports without the need to leave their chairs.
The vision of the innovative Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes charity is to give all young people the opportunity to discover what more they can achieve. The launch event at the Action4Youth Caldecotte Xperience was attended by Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) students from The Redway School, local VIPs and Year 6 pupils from Great Linford Primary School, who unveiled their winning name for the new boat ‘The Wheel of Opportunity.’
Developed by The Wheelyboat Trust and J M Coulam Boatbuilders, the new addition to Action4Youth’s facilities at Caldecotte Lake offers flexible seating, level deck and a watertight bow door that lowers to form a solid ramp for extremely easy and safe wheelchair-friendly access. The craft allows people with mobility impairments to participate in waterborne activities alongside and on equal terms with their non-disabled counterparts.
Andy Beadsley, Director of The Wheelyboat Trust says, “Our aim is to enable as many people as possible to enjoy taking part in waterborne activities. The launch of this boat at The Caldecotte Xperience will allow disabled visitors to not only have access to the water, but also gain powerboating tuition and qualifications for the first time. This project will benefit in particular those with the most limiting mobility impairments, improve their well-being and broaden their horizons through challenges, independence and thrills!”
Jenifer Cameron, CEO of Action4Youth explains: “Action4Youth is a forward thinking charity that looks beyond all barriers to provide the best possible prospects to children, giving them the confidence and motivation to push themselves to achieve. Our new Wheelyboat is the first of its kind to be launched in the region and will enable all children and young people to have an equal opportunity to experience the excitement and adventure of water sports activities."