Inclusive sailing program seeks volunteers
A NOT-for-profit organisation supporting people with disabilities and those at a disadvantage to set sail is coming to Geelong, and is looking for helpers to come aboard.
Next month, Making Waves Foundation (MWF) general manager Julian Martin will give a presentation at the Royal Geelong Club on the benefits of volunteering with MWF on their ocean- racing yachts.
The foundation provides disabled or disadvantaged children, youths and adults opportunities to step outside their comfort zone using sailing as a tool to improve their lives.
Sailing is used to build confidence, self-esteem and a wider network of relationships.
Attendees will have the opportunity to speak to existing volunteers of MWF about the changes they witness in participants and how rewarding they
People without sailing experience are also welcome to apply, and off-water volunteers will also be needed.
Formerly Sailors with disABILITIES, MWF is preparing to launch in Geelong at the end of this year, with programs anticipated to begin fully in 2023.
The foundation will be based at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club as an expansion on its existing Melbourne base established in Docklands six years ago.
MWF is headquartered is in Sydney, where it was established 27 years ago when a crew of disabled sailors competed in the 1994 Sydney to Hobart Race.
Their first Winds of Joy program was run a year later. This program takes out students with a range of disabilities on two-hour sails.
The boats are also equipped to take out up to three wheelchairs.
Five different programs are now run in Sydney, including racing, providing carers with respite, teaching disadvantaged youth a maritime trade as they restore a boat and are mentored along the way, and mentoring disadvantaged youth while they are taught to sail.
A program has also been developed for indigenous youth, environmental testing is coming soon, and further ongoing pathways are being added.
Geelong’s MWF base will initially launch the Winds of Joy program and will ultimately offer other programs as well.
Volunteers to assist with tasks such as administration and crew co-ordination are also being sought.
The foundation is also looking for more volunteers and a crew co-ordinator for its Dockland base.
The MWF event will be held at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club’s Western Lounge on July 14 from 6-8pm.
RSVP to Bill Chittendon by emailing [email protected]
For more information on MWF, head to makingwavesfoundation.com.au