Paul Davey, Corporate Affairs Manager for Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited (2nd left), with Johnty Dickinson (far left) and members of the Geneva team.
11th August 2003
The Port of Felixstowe has provided a significant boost to The Woolverstone Project, a local charity that offers people of any age with disabilities the chance to experience the joys of sailing.
The Project was created ten years ago by the Royal Harwich Yacht Club at Woolverstone, to meet the very large demand by people in the area with disabilities, both physical and sensory, who wanted to sail. The Project offers any interested person of any age, with any disability, the opportunity to go out sailing at Woolverstone or Alton Water Reservoir in Stutton, either for fun or to learn basic sailing skills.
The Port's donation of £2,500 continues a relationship with the Project, which dates from 2000, when the Port sponsored one of the Project's boats. The money will go towards sending a team of six local sailors from the Project, with a range of disabilities, to Thonon-les-Baix near Geneva, Switzerland in September, to compete in an international disabled sailing championship. The sailors will compete in Access dinghies, which are very small boats specifically designed for use by severely disabled people. These dinghies enable disabled people to learn to sail solo in a very short time, and give the opportunity to compete against both disabled and able-bodied sailors.
The Project has had many notable sailing successes in recent years. In 2002, five of its sailors competed across the UK, winning both the UK Championship and the UK Traveller Series in the Access Dinghy Class, while the Project's sailing team won the UK Team Trophy.
Richard Pearson, Managing Director of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, owners of the Port of Felixstowe, commented:
"We are delighted to once again support The Woolverstone Project and the excellent work it does. The Project has helped thousands of disabled people over the years to experience the pleasures of sailing first hand, and plays a valuable role in giving people with a wide range of disabilities a sense of freedom and confidence through their achievements on the water".
Johnty Dickinson, a Trustee and Governor of the Project, said:
"This is a very generous donation by the Port of Felixstowe, and has been welcomed with enormous gratitude by the sailors and members of the Project, for without this sponsorship it is possible that the attendance at the International Meeting in Geneva would never have been possible.
"The sailors in particular are so grateful, as none of them in their wildest dreams when they started sailing with us ever though they would be able to attend an international event abroad".
Note to Editors:
For further information, or a PHOTOGRAPH, please contact, Paul Davey, Corporate Affairs Manager, on Tel No: +44 (0)1394 604987 or Fax No: +44 (0)1394 604943, or E-mail email@example.com
The six local sailors competing in Switzerland are as follows:
John Aldridge - Project Team Captain
From Maldon, Essex. Has suffered numerous strokes and now has muscular dystrophy. Has sailed with the Project in Access dinghies for some 3-4 years, and has won many events throughout the UK, despite never having sailed before coming to the Project.
From Maldon, Essex. John's brother. Lost both legs in an IRA bomb whilst serving with the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers as a Warrant Officer.
From Ipswich. 13 year-old Sam is an Asperger sufferer. Has sailed with the Project for three years, and has gained enormous confidence to sail and compete in UK racing events on his own.
From the Stowmarket area. Following a severe spinal cord injury, he is now confined to a wheelchair. He sailed before he suffered the injury, and has now won many racing events since he joined the Project.
From Bury St Edmunds. Has sailed with the Project for some time, and won the UK Access Championship last year. Suffers from Cerebellum Atrophy, but also spends time with the Project as an instructor.
From the Bury St Edmunds area. Is an MS sufferer, and has sailed with the Project for two years. Over this period, she has learned to sail from scratch, building up her strength and confidence beyond her expectations. This year, she has been able to attend many UK racing events, which she would have found almost impossible last year.
Port of Felixstowe (PFL) is the largest container port in the UK and the fifth largest in Europe. PFL is a member of the Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH) Group, the world's leading port investor, developer and operator with interests in 15 countries throughout Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe and the Americas. Today, HPH operates a total of 32 ports together with a number of transportation related service companies.