Grant will help military families learn to sail in Plymouth
MILITARY families are being given the chance to learn to sail after the Ministry of Defence granted a city sailing club almost £30,000.
Plymouth Youth Sailing will use the money to give military families the opportunity to participate in the club's activities, helping them socialise with those from non-military backgrounds and further integrate into the city's community.
Stuart Jones, secretary of the club, said: "The aim is to run a sailing club for young people to learn and socialise together regardless of background.
"The young people will take part in a learn-to-sail programme and then carry on at the sailing club and take part in all our programmes.
"At the same time we will encourage the parents of the young people to become volunteers, running a training programme for them leading to qualifications."
Families interested in taking up the offer of getting involved with sailing are invited to an open day at the club, which is based at the Mount Batten Centre, on Saturday March 23.
Youngsters and their families will be able to have a look around, meet members and look at the range of sailing equipment available including six Topper dinghies purchased with some of the grant money.
The club hopes to take visitors out on the water if the weather is good enough.
Councillor Pauline Murphy, chair of the Plymouth Armed Forces Community Covenant Steering Group, explained why the council had supported the bid. She said: "We felt it got to the very heart of what the Covenant group is all about – giving forces families another exciting, fun and healthy way to help them integrate into the local community.
"Young people and their parents will have the chance to join a friendly and active group in the community that is also very 'Plymouth'.
"How many cities have the privilege of sailing clubs on their doorstep? And what better way to make friends than messing about on the water."