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"Yesterday, we participated in the Sailors with disABILITIES Winds of Joy program in Melbourne. We were a group of 9 students and 5 staff from Yarrabah School. We would like to send a HUGE THANK YOU to our fantastic crew, Paul, Jeff, Simon, Cameron, Judi, Lisa and shore-based, Richard.
You all made the trip fun, inclusive, safe, secure and a special rare experience that most of our students would be unlikely to have the opportunity to experience any other time.
Our students had a fantastic time, we couldn't wipe the smiles from their faces. Thank you to Sailors with Disabilities for enabling us to participate in this program. I highly recommend it and encourage donations that will see the program continue and expand for many others to experience." --Anita Atkinson
“Hello! My son and I were in the lucky few who got to spend this morning on your yacht! My son Alex loved his time on the yacht steering the yacht up the Derwent River and going under the Tasman bridge! It was an incredible experience for everyone and your crew brought out confidence in some of the kids. I was truly impressed and amazed with their devotion to make sure everyone not just the kids had fun! Thank you for letting us spend the morning on the boat! We really appreciate it!”
On behalf of clients and staff who attended the sailing day on 23rd November, I would like to say a huge thank you. My clients have returned in the afternoon with huge smiles on their faces, so excited to tell me about the wonderful experience that they had been so fortunate to have. The clients and the staff couldn't wait to share with me the wonderful photos they had taken, and to tell me what a wonderful group of people the staff assisting on the boat had been.
This is an experience that many of my clients have never had in their lives before and I would like to take the opportunity to thank you for the time and energy that you put into making this such an enjoyable experience for so many people! Please keep up the great work that you do in bring such pleasure to so many people.
P.S. The clients and staff who did not get to attend have asked me to [put them down for the next trip, so I hope we are fortunate enough to be able to come and visit you again!
Thank you so much
Program Team Leader, Day Program
Civic Lifestyles, Caringbah
I just wanted to say thanks you so much to your team and to the sailing crew for providing such a wonderful opportunity for our students to experience teamwork and cooperation during our sailing trip last week. Watching the faces of our students as they help to steer the boat was such a delight. The self-confidence and sense of pride they got to experience was inspiring. Our students have not stopped talking about being on the water. Thank you. I have included one of the students' thank you notes.
Again, many thanks for this wonderful opportunity. We can't wait to do it again.
HT Special Education (Rel)
Newcastle High School
Thank you for taking us sailing. It was a long trip to Sydney because we had to get up early. We went to Central then we had to go to Edgecliff and we had lunch.
We walked to the park and then got on the boat.
We were very excited. The best bit was when we all got to have a go at steering the boat. I have never steered a boat before. It was scary and exciting.
At the end we said thank you to the crew. Then we walked to the station and caught the train back home.
I had the best day ever. I want to do it again.
The staff and students of Miller Technology High School would like to say a big thank you to your crew for our wonderful day out. I have attached some quotes from the kids about what they remembered.
Our sailing experience:
Sebastian remembers seeing the Navy ships. It was awesome. He enjoyed all the hard work like pulling the sail.
Blake had fun turning the boat with the steering wheel.
Nolano enjoyed throwing the black bag into the water.
William felt the crew were very helpful and enjoyed seeing the Harbour Bridge.
Emmalee liked waving at the other boats and hearing the ships honk.
Samantha enjoyed the feeling of being on the water. All the students enjoyed feeling relaxed on the beautiful white boat.
Everyone had a very nice time and no one was scared.
Cooper class and friends would like to say thank you for taking us sailing around Sydney Harbour.
Special thanks to the Captain!
Again, from all the staff and our participants would like to give the staff and crew of Sailor with Disability a huge thank you for having us last October 13 for a fun and adventure day. The weather is not on our favor but our participants enjoyed every minute of it. Attached is some photos that our staff had taken during the sailing. Thank You!
“Get ready to come about” ‘Crew Ready'
10 excited students scrambled quickly to the yachts other side as the 8m boom whips across in response to the sudden turn of the wheel. ‘Kayle’was in full flight.
This racing yacht holds the record for the fastest time to circumnavigate Australia by a sailing craft and was steadily plowing along at 12 knots powered by a Nor Easter.
‘Ok Next Captain ready’ Murtaza makes his way precariously towards the large stainless wheel and stations himself in typical yacht steering stance. ‘Keep on the heading 42.‘
The student gazes steadily at the electronic readout located at the bottom of the boom moving and adjusting the wheel like a seasoned Sydney to Hobart veteran.
The sailing program targeted at students identified disadvantaged and/or disabled was conceived and funded by David Pescud and now runs year round affording students the opportunity of a lifetime. The yacht is manned by both volunteer and paid staff who have in common both a love for sailing and a wholehearted enjoyment of seeing excited smiles on students’ faces.
On cue the huge mammal leaps out of the sea to do a spectacular 360 spin and come crashing down in an explosion of sea water.
Not all participants found the inconsistent rocking motion totally welcoming but all agreed that the sailing afternoon was a lifetime experience they will always remember.
Learning and Support Teacher
Coffs Harbour High School
Sawtell Public School
The staff and students of Hunter River Community School would like to give a big heartfelt thank you to the crew of ‘Kale’ and the organising staff at SWD for the most memorable experience of the year. We were lucky enough to sail on two mornings in and around Newcastle Harbour. On both occasions we saw students push themselves way beyond what we thought were their limits. None of our students had ever been on a yacht before- in fact only three had ever been out on the water. You had our students sailing the yacht, putting up the sails and flying on the front of the yacht ‘Titanic’ style.
The looks on the students’ faces said it all- seeing the kids with the wind in their faces and overcoming their fears and anxieties was just amazing. Luke, our school captain said on the way back to school, “That was great- we had better be doing that every Tuesday from now on." We had to break the news that no, it was a special one-off thing. However, we said that we hoped that we could be part of the SWD program next year. He didn’t reply for a while but after giving it some thought he decided that maybe other people should have fun, just like we had.
Once again thank you so much for giving our students the opportunity to be part of this amazing program. We hope that we are fortunate enough to be part of the program in 2016.
Thank You, Wendy Bright, Assistant Principal, Hunter River Community School
I would like to thank you and SWD for the opportunity to participate in the Northern Campaign. My 3 days last week were overwhelmingly enjoyable and satisfying for me, exceeding my expectations. I have been involved in volunteer work since I was a young adult - i.e. around 45 years - and this was one of the most rewarding activities I have even undertaken. I was almost in tears on several occasions as I witnessed the joy, excitement and stimulation that we were bringing to the disabled kids. Had I known I was going to enjoy it so much I would have definitely confirmed my availability for the second week a lot earlier.
It was very pleasing to hear from David that he was overwhelmed by the extent of interaction our crew had with the clients last week and out performance generally. It was a great crew. I think we all enjoyed that aspect of it immensely, even more than the sailing.
It is a pity I will have to wait 12 months now before having the SWD experience again, unless I come down to Sydney for it. However, I am committed to try to help secure funding so that the Northern Campaign can go further north again next year. I also have some ideas for synergies with the South Passage organisation.
Thanks for all your help.
Thank you so much for our sailing sessions which the children enjoyed immensely. I am attaching some photos which show the enjoyment on their faces. I only have two student responses to share with you so far. We are a team of Advisory Visiting Teachers and we visit schools all over the region so it takes some time to get back to the schools and the various students. I am still hoping to get more feedback to share with you as it was such a positive experience for all of our students.
Thank you once again.
AVT Hearing Impairment
South East Region
Logan City Special School
To Sailors with disABILITIES,
Thank you for taking us sailing today. From Boonah SHS.
I would like to thank sailors of disabilities for the best day in my life. It was the best experience I ever had it was the best . I will never forget David and the wonderful crew. What a day.
God bless you all for your wonderful hard work you guys are doing.
sincerely Gina Scerri"
"On Monday 23rd March the students from our Support Unit travelled to Sydney for a day's sailing with you.
They had a really enjoyable day and I have attached the stories they wrote about their day. Thank you very much for taking our students on board "Moksha". We hope to sail again with you in the future.
Denise Hughes and Kerry Onslow
Merewether High School"
Many thanks for the wonderful experience that the Cessnock High support unit students enjoyed last week. The students were thrilled to tell others back at school all about the sights of the harbour and getting to drive the boat. We are very grateful to have been able to give our students these memories, some of whom had never even been to Sydney. Thanks to the crew, who were very supportive of our students. Attached are some happy snaps of the day.
Head Teacher Support (Rel)
Cessnock High School"
"Lizzie: On Monday 23rd March the Support Unit went on a sailing trip. We caught the train from Broadmeadow Station.
Once we got to Central we go another train to Edgecliff Station and walked to the park. We had lunch at the park. I sat with Billy, Malcom and Emily. After lunch we went on “Moksha” the boat and I sat with Billy, Malcom and Susan. I was talking to Susan.
I got to steer the boat. It was sunny with no wind. I did have a good time. After our sailing day we caught the train bat home."
"Lawrence: I went on a train to Central then to Edgecliff. I walked to Rushcutters Bay. After lunch I went on the boat, “Moksha”. I steered the boat under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. At 1.00pm the cannon was fired at Fort Denison. It was smoky. I saw some battle ships. They were my favourite part of the day. It was a long day."
"Sophie: On Monday I went sailing on Sydney harbour with my class. We went on the boat, “Moksha”. We sailed around the harbour and saw lots of boats. There were sailing boats, ferries, emergency rescue navy boats which were black, a cruise ship near the Opera House, navy boats, a submarine and pirate boats."
"Malcom: When we got to Central we all walked with Mrs Onslow to catch the train to Edgecliff Station. After we caught the train we walked down to Rushcutters Bay then we went on the sailing boat.
I had a go driving the boat. We saw Sydney Harbour Bridge, Luna Park, navy ships and the Opera House. I got a little bit wet. After we went sailing we went to the bus stop and caught the 327 bus to Kings Cross and we walked to the train station. We caught the train back to Central and caught the train back to Broadmeadow Station at 6.15p.m. The best bit about it was driving the boat, seeing the seal and the navy ships, Taronga Zoo and talking to Susan."
"Billy: I liked sailing on Sydney Harbour. I saw Sam the seal on the stairs at the Opera House. He was sleeping. I was sailing on “Moksha” and I went under the Harbour Bridge to Darling Harbour. I saw 2 pirate boats, a navy ship and a submarine named “Vampire”. I liked steering the boat. On the boat I had to wear a lifejacket."
"Olly: On Monday 23rd March we got on the train at Broadmeadow Station to go to Central. Then we got on a train to Edgecliff. We went to Rushcutters Bay Park then we went on the boat. We sailed around Sydney Harbour. We saw the cannon at Fort Denison fired at 1.00pm. I had a turn at the steering wheel on the boat and I wore a lifejacket."
"Emily: On Monday I caught the train from Broadmeadow station. We caught the train at 7.28a.m. Then we got on the boat. I saw the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Then we caught the train back to Broadmeadow."
We would like to thank the team for our fantastic day on the sailboat Kayle, Tuesday 3rd March. We brought along 11 students and with the 3 staff who attended we all had an amazing day!! Attached are some photos and below are some of our students thoughts on the day:
The school made a folder of images and quotes and sent it to us! Thank you!
Well, what a highly anticipated and exciting day for our 11 students and staff.
The students were champing at the bit to get to the boat this morning and wow, were certainly not disappointed!
Your staff/volunteers welcomed us all like long lost friends. Their friendly manner and encouragement to the students and staff, put us at ease enabling us to enjoy a very relaxing and wonderous time. For our students to be able to steer the boat, move to the stern and work the winch, let alone get on the boat, saw smiles as big as the ocean. The more time we spent on the water, the more relaxed the students became and took in all the scenery, all very happy and eager to have a go at all that was offered; it was a shame it had to end. They love the t/shirts and wore them proudly back at school and on the bus home. They will have lots to tell their families.
Tony - "This the best day of my life". Jenny - "That was magic".
Communication and paperwork was excellent making all go smoothly from my end.
To you all from us "A BIG THANKYOU" for the opportunity and for giving up your precious time to allow our student to experience the magic of sailing, something they would never have, or maybe never will again, do if it wasn't for you.
We are all looking forward the photos and sailing with you again.
Enjoy the rest of you time in Melbourne and thanks again.
Springvale Park Special Developmental School
"To all the crew,
A Big Thank-you to you all for a FaNTASTIC Experience. We sailed on the 16/3/2015 @The Sandringham yacht Club in Melbourne.
I was extremely impressed with all aspects of the day. The 7 Boys (all of which are on the Autisim Spectrum) in my claasroom gained so much from the experience.
They all loved being able to steer the yacht. For some of them just getting on to the boat was a massive achievement in itself. For some of them taking their shoes off was also a huge feat.
Not only were the students calm on the water, all the students were calm when they returned to school for the rest of the day.
A change in rountine can really disrupt their day. I credit the efforts of everyone involved. We were all made to feel as part of the crew and as one of the students commented they learnt a lot. In the classroom before/ after and on the water.
I can highly recommend the day for everyone regardless of their disability- in fact it was more about ABILITY.
Classroom Teacher at Southern Autistic School"
"Many thanks for giving me this wonderful trip to sail on a yacht on Sunday; it was a glorious day & one I will not forget. Thanks, too, again to Skipper Ian & his wonderful crew who give up their time to do this.
"We had a wonderful time and Ian and the crew were delightful, attentive and wonderful sailors. I will write a little piece for the website.
Kristina Dodds | Education and Carer Support Program Coordinator
Motor Neurone Disease Association of New South Wales"
"Our group had an absolutely fantastic experience with Ian and the extraordinary band of volunteers.
The other representatives that were there with disabilities included the executive director of the Disability Council NSW, and the events access and inclusion manager for Premier and Cabinet, together with myself and Bruce Cameron from UTS and easy access Australia.
Simon Darcy | Professor
Co-director of Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre
UTS BUSINESS SCHOOL"
"I would like to express my thanks to you, David Pescud, Sharon Angel and all of the volunteers from SWD who accompanied our group and made it possible for us to participate in the "Winds of Change" program recently.
Myself and staff colleagues were very impressed with the program and felt very fortunate to be able to participate. We were amazed at the generosity of spirit of individuals and the organisation in the treatment of our students.
On the part of the students, they are individuals who are at times difficult to deal with and exhibit behaviours that are often not accepted by others and keep them on the margins of mainstream society. I was in admiration of the way that the students were tolerated and dealt with patiently by everyone at SWD who they encountered.
As well as the actual sailing I believe that the greatest benefit to our students has been the opportunity to "rub shoulders" with and work alongside really good people who are interested in them, want to help them and have tremendous experience and life skills to share with them.
For most of the students success does not come easily, or often and so the opportunity to complete a course is significant.
Many of the students do not survive well in team situations so the experience was invaluable in this respect also. For some students participation in the course has coincided with an improved level of cooperation and participation at school.
I would like to think that in the future other groups from our school will be fortunate enough to participate in an SWD course. Thanks again on behalf of students and staff at the John Berne School.
Regards, Michael Muranty"
"Thankyou so much for the incredible opportunity of sailing on Sydney Harbour on Tuesday with you and your amazing crew of volunteers.
I would also like to acknowledge the support of Donna and Sonia in administration.
They were always very helpful, friendly, efficient and supportive.
Please find attached photos of the day. As you can see the boys had smiles from ‘ear to ear’.
They all genuinely had an excellent time and will have wonderful memories.
I particularly liked:
As a school for students with behaviour and emotional difficulties we are always grateful when clubs or organisations such as yours, and their members, support us in our work and embrace our students.
I was incredibly proud of the students on Tuesday, your expectations enabled them to rise to the task and meet the challenge.
PS A HUGE thankyou for the chips at the clubhouse. Very nice."
This photo montage and hand-signed thank you card from the students at Cairnsfoot speaks for itself. Thank you kids!
"Thanks for the wonderful day yesterday. Thanks to the fantastic crew on board. It really touched my heart when they picked up a wheel chair student to steer the boat. Each and every student was taken care of beautifully.Convey my special thanks to Deb and Dev,who are organising this activity for the great cause.
Once again thanks from the bottom of my heart and on behalf and my students and staff.I look forward next year to bring more students for this wonderful experience.
Varinder Kaur (Special Education Teacher)
"I just wanted to provide some feedback on our wonderful sailing experience last Monday. The students had an absolutely brilliant time, the crew members were amazing and the students loved the opportunity to sail on the Harbour, an experience none of my students had had before.
The students particularly loved steering the boat with great instruction provided by the helmsman. We found the volunteers to be so friendly, they were genuinely interested in chatting with the kids and wanted them to have the best possible experience. We have another class of students that loved hearing about the sailing trip and would love to be able to sail next year.
Thanks so much for all your help with our excursion, we had a wonderful time.
Special Education Teacher
Condell Park High School"
"Yesterday I traveled down from our high school at Macgregor in Brisbane with nine Autistic students.
Though Autistic and not always able to show their emotions I could see the inner happiness of all our students as they traveled on your boat out of Southport. Thankyou so much to Ian and the crew who through there care and kindness to our students made a real impact on our students.
We all had a wonderful time and this excursion will be remembered for many years to come. Thank you to all the business people who support this organization that give all youth an experience they will never forget. God bless you all."
Hi Everyone from Sailors with Disabilities, I’ve been trying to send you a thank you note and photos of my son Scott and his mates and carers since March. Thank you once again for the dedication, support and love that you give to each and every person who comes on your yacht!
My mother Maxine and I (Jo) had the privilege of being asked to accompany Scott (my son) on a yacht with SWD. I can’t tell you how much pleasure you gave Scott and his mates, together with the carers and us! Just to see the expressions of excitement and achievement when they had the chance to steer the yacht was just priceless. You even gave Scott a remote control (which I assisted him) to steer the boat from his wheelchair. Thank goodness our captain and I could see what was up ahead as Scott was so happy he was looking up at the sky hahaha!!! Keep up the great work and please thank the amazing volunteers who I know give up their time to make my son’s life and his mates a quality one!
Many thanks, Jo Jeffery and Afford Disabilities (Windsor) xxoo
On behalf of WALCA family, we would like to say a big "THANK YOU" for giving us (participants and carers) the unforgettable sailing experience. The awesome skipper and the crew are very welcoming and helpful giving us the tour of the harbour, opera house etc. The weather was a bit shaky at first but still they (crew) made the sailing really enjoyable. Attached is some pictures that we took from during the sailing. Thank you very much again and hope to sail with you again.
Kind regards,Jaime Logronio
WALCA Work And Leisure Centre for Adults
(With A Disability)
I'd like to thank everyone we met today on our sailing day with SWD... It was a fantastic day! Thank you again for everything you and SWD have done for my students... It makes such a difference to our students to be sailing with you guys...
Best wishes, monika bray
Picnic Point High School
I just wanted to say a big thank you on behalf of my staff and the children at the YMCA, we really loved having the opportunity to go out on your lovely sail boats. We felt very privileged to have that opportunity.
Thanks so much again and we hope to visit you all in the next holidays.
Flexible Respite Coodinator
Bankstown City Y.M.C.A
Sending you a big thank‐you for the sailing on Sydney Harbour with "sailors with disabilities" organized by Schizophrenia Fellowship NSW.
Have a merry Christmas and a happy New year 2014.
We’d like to say a great big thank you to all the crew and the SWD organisation for the opportunity to sail. The students couldn’t stop talking about it on the way back to school and for days afterwards. Thank you, thank you, thank you
Just wanted to say a big ‘thanks!’ for the sessions of sailing last Wednesday. The students and staff alike all had a great time, the instructors and helpers were great, so thanks for the opportunity – it was great.
Kind regards, Jason
Bundaberg Special School"
"Hello, just wanted to say thanks for taking the Bundaberg LatchOn class sailing last week. We had a great time and everyone enjoyed the time spent on the boat.
Message To all at Sailors with Disabilities,
Hey the first group has returned with tales of excitement and fun! Now the other kids (and teachers) are even keener to be going off on the yacht. Thank you so much for this. maree
Toolooa State High School
"Ahoy there Sailors,
We would like to take this opportunity to thank you once again for three amazing days.
Our kids are still talking about how much fun they had. Please remember to let us know when you are back up this way. I have included our newsletter spread for your viewing.
Happy and safe sailing
Lynda Ehrke Malone
Special Needs Teacher
Year 8 English, History and RPS Teacher
Toolooa State High School"
"I would like to thank you for the wonderful morning we had on SWD. Just wanted to thank you for getting back to me.
My son is 21. He is in a wheel chair. He has autism, epilepsy, CERBAL palsy in his legs.
I live in Gladstone. QLD. His carers said he was all smiles and laughing. This is something that I thought he would never be able to do. I am so glad he was able to have a go.
Cathy Ahchay (parent).
Thank you for inviting us on the boat. We really enjoyed the time on the boat.
One of the things I enjoyed was walking on the sidelines of the boat. I liked
it because it helped my balance by walking across.
One other thing I liked was when I went up on the bowson's chair where the
sails were it was really fun because everybody looked like ants.
I hope to do it again sometime.
From Jess (Glenallen School):)"
thank you for having us yesterday on the boat.
I thought it was great because I was excited.
the best bit was going up in bowson's chair.