Testimonies from Sailability parents and sailors on how they benefited as a family 

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Sailability Testimonies

Beth, aged 17

I have benefited a lot from the All-Aboard group.  Not only have I been able to gain new skills in sailing, canoeing and kayaking, but I have been able to communicate and work better with my peers and other people, which is something that I definitely needed to improve.

Being at Riverside, we spend a lot of time thinking about extremely hard stuff that has gone on for us but All-Aboard allowed me to be distracted from difficult thoughts and feelings that I have been experiencing.

All-Aboard has built my confidence which has helped me so much in my recovery.  It helped me realise also how physical activity can be fun as well as good for me, so has encouraged me to do more physical activity and I will definitely do water sports again!

All-Aboard has been an amazing experience and as well as helping me build confidence and recover, it has also encouraged me to get out and be social and take part in new things.  I am very thankful to All Aboard and know that many other young people will benefit from this amazing experience.

 

A family’s experience of Sailability – Child A

In 2011 my son discovered a joy in sailing. It came at a time when things were tough for him, and so to find something that he was good at, and where he was allowed to be himself, it was a dream come true. To start with, A enjoyed driving powerboats, but he was soon inspired by Swallows and Amazons to try sailing, and he has never looked back. The fact that the activity enabled A to excel at something outside school did wonders for his confidence, self-esteem and he became a much happier boy. Since then, A has taken part in races, and is looking forward to being able to sail much more complicated boats.

In 2015 I became unable to walk, and so I have since been able to discover the joy of sailing for myself. It gave me the freedom that I don’t have at home, and was a welcome break from the stresses at home. It has also become something that my son and I have been able to enjoy together – my son taking me out in different boats. All in all, I strongly believe that our home is a much happier place because of the opportunities offered by All-Aboard, and I would strongly recommend it to anyone considering it whatever their situation.

 

 An SEN School’s Experience of All-Aboard

At Kingsweston School we have been working closely with All-Aboard Watersports for 4 years. They have given our pupils – all of whom have an Autistic Spectrum Condition (many have additional needs as well) – the opportunity to experience something that would have seemed completely inaccessible to them, and challenge themselves in doing so. Some pupils have enjoyed the experience of riding in a boat for the first time, overcoming a fear of being on the water – a number of pupils of various ages who were initially apprehensive about going on Aiming High have all found themselves in sailing dinghy’s within 6 weeks. Others have taken the opportunity to take it further and successfully compete in rowing and sailing against other schools – something that they would not have believed themselves capable of doing at the outset of the sessions.

A number of our pupils now access the club out of school as a result. All of our pupils have learnt new skills – be they specific skills relating to sailing or more general skills around following instructions and staying safe around water, and every child we have taken over the years has fully enjoyed the experience and expressed a willingness to return. Each of the activities that we access (sailing, group kayaking and riding on Aiming High) offer something specific and worthwhile to our students – the chance to work as a team or be in complete independent control of a boat. This sense of empowerment, responsibility and independence runs to the very core of what we try to do for our students as a school.

 

Feedback from a Dementia Care Home on their experience with our Dementia Project Powerboat Trips

“A massive thank you for all the hard work that went into enabling our residents here at St Monica Trust to be able to go out on your boats. Many of them found it deeply rewarding and enjoyable and the staff certainly had fun too.”

Quotes from Courses & Sessions

Youth Holiday Club

“All-Aboard! is wonderful, the staff are really nice and I would definitely do it again”

“Holiday Club has really amazing activities. It’s really fun and you never get bored – there’s lots to do”

“Really fun, I would definitely do it again!”

My 2 children had the best week at the multi-sports holiday club this week. I suspect they spent more time in the harbour than in a boat but had loved it! We have used other holiday clubs in the past but this is their favourite by a mile. Thanks so much to all the team.”

Adults RYA Courses

“I have just had an excellent weekend completing my RYA Level 1….However, the knowledgeable instructors and the use of the simulator boat to begin with gave me the confidence to try it alone from the outset.”

My instructor “spent two days teaching me how to drive a powerboat. He was calm and thoughtful, even when I wasn’t! Everyone I met at All Aboard was lovely and helpful. I can’t recommend them highly enough”

“Great service, great fun, yet a different thing to do in Bristol, helpful staff and proper equipment.”

Testimonies from Volunteers

Volunteer’s Stories

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Experience of a young volunteer, female, aged 17

Volunteering at All-Aboard has been marvellous! From a period where I struggled significantly with anxieties and lost my confidence, All-Aboard has supported me in developing both team and leadership roles which have prepared me for the world of both work and supporting those with additional needs. Observing this in others is also very empowering, being on the water can be surprisingly healing in a variety of
ways! I now feel far more mature in a volunteer role and excited to actively participate in a community doing something I really enjoy. I’ve been able to try new water sports, have been trained in some areas of water sports which I never thought I would and have gained some
vital experience and qualifications working with such a variety of individuals, all equally fantastic.

 

Experience of a young volunteer, female, aged 55+

I retired from full time work about 3 years ago and found that I had nothing to do all day which was difficult. Then a friend of mine in Bristol introduced me to CSAF at All-Aboard on a Wednesday morning, then Thursday and I found it fantastic. It got me out on the water doing sailing, rowing, kayaking or canoeing and meeting new people. I then realised I could volunteer at All-Aboard doing all sorts of
activities with all sorts of age groups, School children with special needs and elderly people, no experience required just enthusiasm!. I now volunteer about three days a week, doing all sorts of things as needed and thoroughly enjoying myself, keeping myself fit as well.