Sailing for the Disabled – the pioneering charity which provides sailing experiences for people with disabilities – has announced a series of events to celebrate its 40th anniversary at a well-attended event at Laxey Glen.

Guests including Lieutenant Governor Sir John Lormer and Lady Lorimer, the charity’s patron Sir Miles Walker and Lady Walker, as well as corporate partners and charity members were treated to delicious canapes and welcome drinks in the venue’s inviting surroundings, before an atmospheric performance from local group Mine’s a Shanty - which even saw the audience joining in with some of their nautically themed repertoire.

To follow, the team behind the charity provided an insightful presentation outlining the positive impact that the charity has made across the island over its 40 years, the history of both the charity and its sailing fleet, and the important experiences it provides to people with a disability within the Manx community.

The support to date from a wide selection of local organisations, plus plans for the future and how they can be achieved were also shared.

Over the past 40 years, Sailing for the Disabled has been making a conscious effort to move away from solely focussing on people with a seen disability and become more inclusive to those with hidden disabilities.

They now offer their services to more people than ever before, including those with mental health issues and people undergoing treatment for life-altering diseases. They recently welcomed on board, for the first time, a member with dementia and their carer.

The organisation also wants to break down the idea the sport is only for the elite and assure people what they offer is for everyone, no matter their background.

Sailing for the Disabled marked the anniversary with the launch of a new website and digital strategy, which places accessibility and inclusivity at its core.

The new website – - has been designed and developed by Onchan-based web agency ClickSpace and was made possible thanks to a grant from the Manx Lottery Trust, who have supported the charity on numerous occasions throughout its history.

Chairman Paul Atkinson said: ‘Our 40th anniversary is a great opportunity to look back at our history and pay tribute to the dedication of the volunteers, members and partners that have helped us reach this significant milestone.’

‘We have an exciting line-up of events planned this year to continue the celebrations, and hope these activities will inspire all members of the island’s community to learn more about Sailing for the Disabled and how they could become part of our friendly community.’

Some of the planned activities include a sailing event in July which will see three yachts from the charity’s historic fleet sail together in Douglas Bay with support from the RNLI, as well as a 40th anniversary dinner event taking place later in the year.

Full details of the events and activities will be added to the charity’s website as they become available.