The children’s charity of rugby union, Wooden Spoon Lancashire, has helped invest into a boat for the charity, The Outlook Trust, which supports and organises adventure-filled activities and residential breaks.
The Outlook Trust was able to invest in a boat and offer children with visual impairments a new activity to experience the joy of sailing in the Windermere waters, thanks to the £10,500 grant generously donated by Wooden Spoon.
Wooden Spoon has long established itself as a leading charity within the rugby union community.
Through working with a nationwide team of individuals and ambassadors to raise vital financial resources, Wooden Spoon goes above and beyond to fund life-changing work supporting vulnerable children, and charities such as The Outlook Trust.
The response to the new sailing boat has been overwhelmingly positive from both parents and children – including, Ellen, who lost her central vision suddenly when she was nine years old.
Fiona, Ellen’s mum said: “It’s been really, really tough – because it’s a hidden disability and she doesn’t look blind.
“Ellen really looks forward to these weekends. She’s made friends and grown in confidence. She can relax here, and I know she’s safe.”
Ellen, who was the only visually impaired child at her school, finds comfort and support in The Outlook Trust.
The organisation helps her feel less isolated by providing a sense of belonging and the opportunity to connect with other children who share her experiences and understand her.
Ellen, who is now 17, said: “One of the volunteers is also visually impaired so it shows us what we can do, and what we can accomplish.
“I’ve never thought about going sailing before, and with this, I’ve picked up new skills.
“I have struggled with being social, so it’s helped with my confidence, speaking to the other young people, and speaking to adults too.”
As Ellen reaches the age of 18, she eagerly seeks to give back by becoming a volunteer at The Outlook Trust.
Inspired by the experience’s others have shared with her, she aims to share her own with those who may benefit from them.
Fiona said: “Any investment in helping to make young children who are visually impaired feel less isolated is a dream for families like us.
“As a family, we are so grateful to all the fundraisers at Wooden Spoon who have allowed children to independently experience the excitement of sailing, and the movement of the water again.”
Martin Long, chair of Wooden Spoon Lancashire, said: “We are so pleased to have been able to donate the funds to create such a special activity for children at The Outlook Trust.
“We aim to provide much-needed support to children and young people across the UK and Ireland and create a safe atmosphere for them to enjoy activities and experiences.
“We believe this boat will enable children to explore a new activity that they wouldn’t have before thought possible.”
Jeff Davies from The Outlook Trust said: “On behalf of The Outlook Trust, I would like to express a heartfelt thank you to the generosity in providing a new Drascombe gig ‘Out on the Full’.
“It will make a massive difference to the work that we do. “