PRINCESS Anne was at Grafham Water on Thursday, as patron of the Royal Yachting Association, to celebrate 15 years of the Sailability Club for people with disabilities and to open the refurbished Grafham Water Centre. The Princess was presented with flow
PRINCESS Anne was at Grafham Water on Thursday, as patron of the Royal Yachting Association, to celebrate 15 years of the Sailability Club for people with disabilities and to open the refurbished Grafham Water Centre.
The Princess was presented with flowers by Jack Ledsham, aged nine from Eynesbury who has been sailing since he was six, despite using a wheelchair to move and a computer to speak.
Jack, a pupil at Eynesbury Church of England School, and his friend Bobby Thomas, 13, from Girton are both members of the Upsidedown Club, which sails regularly at Grafham.
The Princess Royal, who arrived by helicopter, celebrated the success of sailability, started by Judy Figgures from Huntingdonshire, who is wheelchair bound with MS. The occasion was also the formal opening of the newly refurbished Grafham Water Centre with improved disabled access and better accommodation for the children who stay there on activity holidays.
The £2.5m refurbishment of the centre, run by Cambridgeshire County Council, includes remodelling of the existing buildings to provide conference and seminar facilities, new dining room and new reception area.
A new boat store has also been provided to house boats and equipment. The development programme was funded with a loan from Cambridgeshire County Council and a grant of £500,000 from Cambridgeshire Horizons.
Inviting HRH to unveil a plaque, Cambridgeshire County Councillor David Harty said: "The Sailability Group relies on two things: first, disabled people capable of learning to sail and second, persuading able-bodied people that disabled people are worth helping. After 15 years, we are still going and your Royal Highness's coming here cements the fact that we are doing a good job.