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Autism sailing charity boosted by wind power funding

Autism on the Water boat 1

Scotland’s only charity helping people with autism through the sport of sailing, has received a funding boost to help increase the number of children and adults it supports.

Edinburgh-based Autism on the Water will use the £5,000 from one of Scotland’s biggest wind farm operators, Community Windpower, to get its two boats ready for when the charity can set sail again later in 2021.

The boats are both currently out of the water due to Covid-19 and some minor repairs, but it’s hoped they’ll be back sailing around Scotland and the rest of the UK from mid-April.

Murray MacDonald, the founding member of Autism on the Water, said: “We can’t thank Community Windpower enough for the amazing funding given to use, particularly at a time when the nation faces many struggles.

“We’ll be using some of the money to get out latest boat, a cruising yacht, ready to sail and the rest to ensure both boats and all activities we carry out are done in a Covid-19 secure way.

“Sailing can help autistic people with the three skills that they struggle with every day, confidence, problem solving and social skills.

“We pride ourselves on being present at some of Scotland's top regattas to raise awareness and are committed to raising awareness of the Autistic Spectrum through the amazing sport of sailing and helping autistic people to access sailing.

“This year we hope to sail to Northern Ireland, Wales and England, to continue the work and helping people, particularly children.”

Autism on the Water was founded on Facebook in 2016 and became a charity in 2019.

In 2021 the charity hopes to sail widely around Scotland, including a trip on the Crinan Canal, creating opportunities for people with autism and Asperger’s to increase their confidence, social skills and problem solving.

Diane Wood, community benefits director at Community Windpower, said: “When we found out about the amazing work that Murray and the team at Autism on the Water do, we immediately stepped in to help through our funding programme.

“It’s fantastic to see the enthusiasm of the charity in helping people with autism and Asperger’s, and we’re really pleased to be able to help get both boats on the water this year.

“When time and conditions allow, we look forward to seeing first hand Autism on the Water in action.”

Community Windpower is also running a joint Covid-19 crisis fund with its BeGreen shop in Dunbar for people and organisations currently suffering due to the pandemic. It’s based in the Lothians and Ayrshires.

For more information please contact Cathleen Anderson at the BeGreen shop in Dunbar by calling 01368 863720 or by emailing begreen@communitywindpower.co.uk.

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