The EAST Anglian Sailing Trust (EAST) gives adults and children with disabilities the opportunity to enjoy sailing, helping them to gain independence and confidence and engage with the community.
EAST has no paid staff - its fleet of 14 boats is managed by a team of more than 100 volunteers who all help give children and adults with disabilities regular sailing opportunities. These opportuinities help to improve their confidence, independence and community involvement.
The charity also provides sailing cruises each year for blind adults from all over the UK and beyond, on yachts fitted with special talking charts and instrumentation provided by EAST members from its base in Suffolk Yacht Harbour.
On dry land, the National Lottery funded Waterside Community Centre provides a range of events including curry nights, barbecues and regular boat maintenance to help members connect with the sailing community. EAST has been recognised as a 'Sailability Centre of Excellence' as a result of their fantastic work.
: "I'm a huge supporter of anything that offers opportunities and support for those with disabilities but EAST provides that little bit extra. Firstly, the idea of being able to sail independently and with freedom is rare for many with additional needs, but EAST makes it possible. Furthermore, EAST is supported by so many amazing volunteers, including some who have disabilities themselves. The whole EAST experience encourages a warm community of knowledgeable people."
Emily Yates, a disability advocate, travel writer and presenter
All of EAST's work is done without any paid staff thanks to the support of the National Lottery, local clubs, organisations and EAST's dedicated team of volunteers.
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