This project will enable us to charter an adapted Catamaran for 10 days to sail families into the North Sea from Royal Quays Marina for an exhilarating trip for vulnerable disabled children who have been shielding for almost 2 years due to COVID-19 and who have not had access to their usual sensory input for regulating behaviour, emotional well-being and often medical input, this will give them and their siblings an incredibly bespoke and specific sensory experience combined with the memory making event for the whole family. This is an inclusive way of giving them a wonderful trip to help them gain confidence, give them a change of environment and a day to “get away from it all”, leaving behind the stress and worry of their medical fragility for a few hours, all whilst experiencing motion, smell, taste, proprioception, gaining vestibular input and having the opportunity to become skipper for the day.
What we'll deliver:
- Hire of Adapted Catamaran for 10 days
- 300 Attendees / Shipmates
- Wheelchair ponchos for all children
- Promotional Material
Why it's a great idea:
Disabled children and their families will gain an opportunity to have a bespoke, inclusive, adapted, sensory experience which will help with mental health, physical health/awareness and promote a sense of pride and belonging. These children most often cannot access leisure facilities due to their disabilities or special needs, the majority being inaccessible for wheelchairs or have a sensory-overload to specific needs, this gives these wonderful children sensory input on a vestibular and proprioception level, encourage independence as the children can skipper the boat and learn to drive in donuts. This is a once in a lifetime incredibly thrilling experience to create a unique memory for the whole family. Where else can you hop on a wheelchair accessible boat and learn to be your very own captain.
Steps to get it done:
- Engaging with the SEND community to encourage participation
- Allocating 300 places
- Providing each child with their very own keepsake ticket
- Purchasing waterproof wheelchair ponchos for each child
- Attending the sailing across 10 days
- Gaining photographs, video footage on each trip
- Obtaining feedback from the families and WetWheels team
Sensory input for disabled children has been evidenced for many years, giving them a better understanding of the world around them, their own body and spatial awareness, all these things which able-bodied people take for granted. The parent carers of these children are often faced with limited social and leisure activities for their children which can have a detrimental impact on their mental health and in turn lead to increased isolation and loneliness, our group creates a wonderful friendly peer to peer support network which allows families to build relationships and support each other and helps to beat the stigma around disabilities and acceptance.