'An opportunity of a lifetime' for 5 young people, aged 12 – 18, with physical and/or sensory impairments, to learn how to sail at Bisham Abbey Sailing School, Marlow, from 30th July to 3rd August 2018.

In 2005, District 1090 decided to make an annual award in memory of Rotarian Brian Middleton of Reading Rotary Club, because of the work he did with groups of young people & particularly those with disabilities. 

This award has previously been used to send one young person, aged 18 – 30, away each year on an activity break which was specifically designed to meet their additional needs, either with The Jubilee Sailing Trust or the Calvert Trust, an outward bound centre.

For 2018, a different approach is being trialled.  This year up to 5 young people, of secondary school age, with physical and/or sensory impairments will be selected to form a group who will then learn to sail, using specialised equipment & with appropriately trained instructors. The specialist boats include those specifically for users with disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, amputation, dwarfism, spinal injuries. On the successful completion of this course, they will then have the opportunity to continue to meet up & to sail at Bisham Abbey with The Accessible Boat Club on Sundays throughout the season. (The Accessible Boat Club is part of The Rivertime Boat Trust which is  already supported financially & practically by many Rotary Clubs)

One of the ideas behind this group approach is to get back closer to Brian’s original model of Rotarians supporting young people with special needs in a practical way.  The involvement of sponsoring Rotary Clubs is not financial, as the course is fully funded, but in supporting the young person & their family during the course.  In addition to the specialist & volunteer staff, additional help will be needed shoreside & in covering lunch breaks.  Help may also be needed with transport.

The Sailing School will take responsibility for interviewing potential candidates & for completing a detailed assessment of their needs & suitability, plus all insurance & H&S issues.  There is a safety boat on the river for all activities & a hoist is available at this fully accessible site.   All specialised equipment is provided.

Soon after this, places will be offered & a more detailed assessment will be made about the help/support needed from Rotary Clubs during the week. 

Please, talk with your Club members, friends etc. to see if you know a young person who would be thrilled to have this opportunity; then check that your Club members are prepared to become involved with this project.

If you would like any further information or a presentation to your Club please contact Christine Bailie

Please download and complete the Expression of Interest Form below and return it ASAP, but at the latest, by 28th February 2018.

PS.The most suitable candidates will be selected for this group so no promises should be made to any candidates until the selection process is complete.

Further Information for Rotary Clubs

Brian Middleton Award 2018 - Information Word Doc
Expression of Interest Form Word Doc

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