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Sailing for people living with disability

We are the only RYA Sailability Centre of Excellence in the West Midlands

A charity that helps to enable children and adults living with disabilities to enjoy sailing and some water based activities at Rudyard Lake near Leek. It’s the perfect sport to feel tranquillity and freedom on the water, or progress your skills and become competitive. Sailing is open to anyone, no matter what age or disability and you don't even need to be a swimmer to join us. To be an RYA (Royal Yatching Association) Centre of Excellence a site is  recognised for its hard work and conscious efforts contributing towards disabled sailing. We are so proud to have achieved this status and continue to hold onto it. These sites need to offer an educational hub of good practice and a vital link for clubs and centres wishing to get involved and see how things happen. Sites comply with high service standard that can cater for 9 or more categories of disability and have been accredited with the RYA for more than 3 years. There is only one site per region and we are proud to be the centre of excellence for the West Midlands region.


Rudyard Lake
Dams Head,
Lake Road.
United Kingdom
ST13 8XB


Phone: +44 (0) 7837271783
Tel: + 44 (0) 01782 853721


Proudly Awarded the Queens Award for Voluntary Service        

Sailing on the Lake with us

Creating Experiences 

Our charity offers a range of boating experiences ranging from the sedate for the novice beginner to the heart pumping fast racing trips up our scenic lake. Safety is key and we follow strict guidelines. In addition we are inspected by the RYA (Royal Yatching Association) each year, which we are proud to say we work hard as a team of volunteers to pass with high score. All our visitors will be accompanied by one of our experienced volunteers with the swallows, herons and kingfishers to watch as they nagivate the beautiful waters of Rudyard Lake. 

Our Boats



We have two Rescue Boats. Our Pioneer Safety Boat with large reserves of buoyancy and a front of boat drawbridge entry system that can be lowered to allow wheelchairs easy access.

The floor of the boat has embedded tracks to secure wheelchairs.

Safety on the water is a priority and whilst we have visitors sailing with any of our volunteers, we have our rescue boat out on the water with our trained rescue teams on the water too.



We have four of these boats. This is an ideal boat for learning to sail and for moving your sailing on to the next level as they are ‘virtually uncapsizable’ and easy to sail. It can be sailed with one or two people on board enabling you to learn with an experienced sailor sitting alongside. However, once you have mastered the basics you will no doubt be keen to sail it single handed.

The boat has two sails both of which can be made smaller and less powerful if needed but also larger and more powerful for the more experienced or excitement seeker. 



‘Barbie’ is rather special.  She is one of our Hansa 303 Wide boats and she can be fitted with a powered controller mechanism that allows the boat to be sailed literally at the touch of a button.

This will then allow any sailor to be able to sail it despite their abilities. Barbie can also be fitted with a sip and puff controller enabling sailors with total immobility to sail her.



Once you have mastered the basics in the Hansa 303 Wide you will be wanting something more. The Liberty is a totally accessible, single person boat that is longer than the 303 but the same width making it a fast and exciting small keel boat.

Although fast, the design makes the boat very dry and comfortable to sail. Designed to sail ‘leaning’ the boat has two rudders which allows you to keep control of her in most wind conditions.



We have two Challengers Trimarans. The Challenger is larger than the Hansa 303 or Liberty. Although one of our Challengers seats two people, its essentially a single-handed boat that offers an exciting but safe sailing experience. Being fast, stable and well balanced makes it a boat of choice for any sailor ‘averse to leaning ‘.

The boat is sailed forward facing and steered by use of a tiller. The Challenger is seaworthy and in 2007 was sailed 1,400 miles around the Britain by Geoff Holt.



The GP14 is 14 foot long and is relatively stable. It has a wide range of uses including cruising, training and racing. For the more adventurous the standard two sails can be extended to three with the use of a spinnaker. 

Our Wayfarer is 16 foot long with good stability and has plenty of room making it ideal for day cruising. In both the Wayfarer and GP14 you are generally required to move from one side of the boat to the other although some adaptation of technique is possible.  


Your Satefy Matters

Priorities on the Lake


Whilst we want you to have the best time when you are on the lake with us we also want to ensure that you are taking your safety seriously.

Safegaurding Children and Adults whilst in our Care

We are committed to creating a safe, welcoming and fun environment for all participants, volunteers and visitors both on and off the water. Rudyard Sailability is a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) approved training centre and as such is inspected annually to ensure that it meets the high safety standards set nationally. Here are a few of the key safety measures you can expect to see.

Our Policies and Practices

All activities are fully risk assessed and overseen by appropriately trained staff members. The centre works closely with the RYA to ensure that the most up to date safety practices are adopted. The centre operates under the guidance of RYA policies and practices are in place to safeguard children, young people and vulnerable adults. Rudyard Sailability has a designated person to oversee safeguarding issues and any staff working on 1-1 basis are enhanced DBS checked.


Trained safety staff will support your activity with a fully equipped safety boat. In this well managed environment emergencies are very rare, however, prior to your activity you will be briefed on safety procedures in the unlikely event of an emergency occurring.  RYA courses in sailing and powerboating are delivered by appropriately qualified staff for the activity and within the RYA policy for teaching centres. Qualified first aid is always available.

Equipment and Hoists

Our fleet of boats have been specifically chosen for their safety features with some having exceptional stability (see our boats section). 
Should you wish or need to use a hoist to transfer from or to boats your transfer will be supported by appropriately trained staff.
Safety equipment is provided for all activities. Prior to going onto the jetty or water your individual needs will be determined, and you will be provided with an approved buoyancy aid or lifejacket, the fitting of which will be checked by our staff.
A safety boat will be on the water prior to the start of any activity which is fitted with a radio to allow communication with the shore and other staff.

Rudyard Sailability Actively Seeks To:

* Create a safe and welcoming environment, both on and off the water, where children can have fun and develop their skills and confidence.
* Recognise that safeguarding children is the responsibility of everyone, not just those who work with children.
* Ensure that our training and events are run to the highest possible safety standards.
* Be prepared to review its ways of working to incorporate best practice.

We Will:

* Treat all children with respect and celebrate their achievements.
* Carefully recruit and select all employees, contractors and volunteers.
* Respond swiftly and appropriately to all complaints and concerns about poor practice or suspected or actual child abuse.

Child Protection Policy Statement

As defined in the Children Act 1989, for the purposes of this policy anyone under the age of 18 should be considered as a child. The policy also applies to vulnerable adults. It is the policy of Rudyard Sailability to safeguard children and young people taking part in boating from physical, sexual or emotional harm. Rudyard Sailability will take all reasonable steps to ensure that, through appropriate procedures and training, children participating in Rudyard Sailability activities do so in a safe environment. We recognise that the safety and welfare of the child is paramount and that all children, whatever their age, gender, disability, culture, ethnic origin, colour, religion or belief, social status or sexual identity, have a right to protection from abuse.

Upcoming Public Events at the Rudyard Sailability


Every summer families and friends of the charity including the local community come together to take part in our thrilling Annual Dragon Boat Race. It is our primary fundraising event that keeps our charity ticking over. And a day filled with activities, races, fundraising, food and fun for the young and old. 

So save the date for as our event will take place on the 4th of July at 10:30am this year (2020).

Get your entry forms in for our Annual Dragon Boat Race. It is the one event of the year not to be missed and the time of the year we rely on you to help us raise funds for us. Bring the entire family along, friends, the neighbours, and don't forget the dog too.

Dragon Boat Race Team Application Entry Deadlines
Annual Dragon Boat Race 
(Family Fun Day)
Stalls, Food, Music, Kids Race

Corporate Days on the Lake with us


Day Away from the Office

We spend two thirds of our lives at the office. Employee productivity is important and getting the most out of your teams is vital to your bottom lines. Supporting a charity like Rudyard Sailability at the same time, is a win win situation. Not only are your teams feeling energised to get back to the office but you have helped out charity get one step further in achieving our goals. And best of all your both your staff and you get to leave feel all warm and fuzzy.


Team Building Exercises

Rudyard Sailability has the expertise to help you create bespoke team building exercises with our trained teams. We can put them through mental agility exercises and at the same time let you all have a fun day.


Support a Charity

Most corporate days do not realise the benefit of what they can do for a small charity, like Rudyard Sailability. We will work with you to create an outstanding day that will create rewarding results.  The best reward is doing something that warms the heart. We have amazing scenerary, views that are endless, we offer our own training. And we are situated in the middle of the UK on the beautiful Rudyard Lake near Leek near Staffordshire.

RYA (Royal Yatching Association) courses are known and respected around the world over. At Rudyard Sailability we run the following courses, all of which are of two days duration or an equivalent number of sessions. We recommend a minimum age of 5 for youth courses and 16 for adult courses.

Our RYA Accredited Training Courses 




Suggested Donation from £20 (members)                   

• Course Duration : Two Days
• Course content:-
*Launching and recovery,steering, parts of the boat, basic sailing.
• Ability after the course:-
*Able to steer and understand basic principles.




Suggested Donation from £20(members)

• Course Duration : Two Days
• Course content:-
*Basic sailing skills, ropework, collision avoidance.
• Ability after the course:-
*Able to tack and control boat speed, and understand basic principles. 



Suggested Donation from £20 (members)

• Course Duration : Two Days
• Course Content:-
*Rigging, launching and recovery, sailing techniques, capsize recovery, sailing theory.
• Ability after the course:-
*Able to launch & sail a dinghy around a triangle in moderate conditions

RYA (Royal Yatching Association) courses are known and respected around the world over. At Rudyard Sailability we run the following courses, all of which are of two days duration or an equivalent number of sessions. We recommend a minimum age of 5 for youth courses and 16 for adult courses.

Our RYA Accredited Training Courses




Donation from £20(members)                            

• Duration: Two Days
• Course content:-
Launching and returning to a beach, jetty or mooring, and sailing a crewed dinghy around a triangle in moderate.
• Ability after the course:-
Able to launch & sail a dinghy around a triangle in moderate conditions. 




Donation £20 from Members

• Duration: Two Days
• Course content:-
How to sail in all directions, including an awareness of launching and recovering.
• Ability after the course:-
You will be able to sail in light winds under supervision. 




Donation from £20(members)

• Duration: Two Days
• Course Content:-
Rigging, launching, sailing in all directions. Capsize recovery and essential safety knowledge.
• Ability after the course:-
Able to sail and make decisions in good conditions 

RYA (Royal Yatching Association) courses are known and respected around the world over. At Rudyard Sailability we run the courses for adults and young alike most of which are run over two days.

Our RYA Accredited Training Courses 




Donation from £20(members)                          

• Duration
• Course Content:-
Enhance your skills and develop techniques with a range of tasters from the advanced modules.
• Ability after the course:-
More confident in sailing skills and techniques, and ready to progress onto the advanced modules 




Donation from £20(members) 

• Duration:
• Course content:-
Launching and recovering the boat in different circumstances, stopping, reducing sail, recovering a man overboard, anchoring.
• Ability after the course:-
Able to handle a wide range of situations afloat. 




Donation from £20(members) 

• This one-day course is designed to provide a working knowledge of first aid for people using small craft and to support skippers.

The powerboat scheme aims to develop your powerboat skills and knowledge needed to drive a powerboat safely and act in the capacity of an escort craft, safety boat or coach boat for a fleet of dinghies.
We offer the following three courses

RYA Accredited Training Courses




Donation from £40(members)                             

• Duration: 1 Day
Candidates under the age of 16 will be issued with an endorsed certificate
• Course content: Launch and recovery. Preparation of boat and crew, boat handling, picking up and securing to a mooring buoy, leaving and coming alongside, being towed.
• Ability after the course: Able to drive under supervision. 




Donation from £40(members)

• Duration: 2 Days
• Minimum age: 12
• Course content: Launching and recovery, boat handling, securing to a buoy, anchoring, leaving and coming alongside, man overboard.
• Ability after the course: Self-sufficient powerboater in the right conditions, aware of own limitations and those of craft. 




Donation from £20(members)

• Duration: 2 Days
• Minimum age: 16
• Course content: Preparation, boat handling, dinghy rescue, windsurfer rescue, kayak or canoe rescue (can be covered as theory), towing, end-of-day procedures, safety, suitability of craft, local factors, communication, rescuing other water users.
• Ability after the course: Able to provide safety or support cover to a range of craft, particularly sailing or windsurfing 

 Due to Covid 19 and Public Safety, this Event Has Now Been Cancelled until further Notice

Have you entered your team of 11 yet? Deadlines the 24th of June 2020 and Race Day is the 4th of July. We need you to help us raise urgent funds to keep the charity running. Your donations are vital to what we do.

Deposit of £150 need to be paid in full on the 24th of June to secure your places in the race this year. Ideally we would prefer a £400 payment please. Final payments of sponsorships will need to be paid to the charity a no later than 14 days after the event.  We urge you to take part and gather your troops to help us raise vital funds for the charity this year. Without you, we cannot do the work we do.

Entry Form Deadline for our Charity Dragon Boat Race 

We will keep you posted of further developments. If you are interested

Facilities & Activities with Rudyard Sailability

Rudyard Sailability is delighted to welcome along all who live with disability and that includes the whole family, friends, and carers. Everyone is encouraged to get involved and join in what is always described as a fun day out.


Our Change Rooms 

To ensure all visitors a comfortable day we are offer a fully-accessible wet room including ceiling track hoist (own sling required); shower, shower trolley/changing table and bidet-style toilet with hand rails. A separate accessible loo is also available in our Boathouse.


Make Yourself at Home

Our Boat House is equipped with a wheelchair-accessible galley complete with tea and coffee making facilities; fridge and microwave. Looking out over the Lake, where better to catch up on the news over a cuppa or a snack? We do encourage everyone to join us all with the washing-up too.


Wildlife and Wilderness

Being out on the water brings a whole new perspective to this habitat as you are close to the delightful ducklings; hanging out with the herons; or swooping with the swallows. Your enlightening journey will be serenaded by captivating birdsong emanating from the ancient woodland that lines the Lake.


Picnics Afloat with Us

Can you imagine anything more wonderful than sharing a picnic with friends whilst being moored on the Lake? Such tranquillity, community and serenity....... You can guarantee to be joined by hungry ducks, inquisitive swans and the occasional leaping fish keen to see what’s in your sandwiches.


Bell Boating with Us 

Bell boating is a fantastic way of getting onto the water with all your friends. Racing bell-boats is packed with fun and a brilliant way to keep your body and mind healthy. If you just want to relax then with up to 11 people paddling nobody has to work too hard to enjoy the lake in style!


Sail Solo with US

In no time at all you will be sailing your smile up and down the lake. With our experienced staff and specialist boats we offer a safe and fun way of learning to sail. Once you’ve got the basics you will be ready to enjoy a cruise, start to race or just potter about the lake with friends.


Paddle Boating with Us

Our fully accessible Pioneer powerboat offers everyone the opportunity to explore the full length of the lake, learn new skills or just sit back and enjoy being with friends. Who knows, you could even join in one of our courses and get yourself qualified as a Powerboat driver! 


Hang Out with Us

We are a Charity that relies on its wonderful volunteers. If you like what you see maybe you would also like to spend more time with us to help others enjoy the opportunities on offer. Its so rewarding in many different ways! Just let us know that you would like to help and we’ll do the rest.


Stories That Matter

Since our Chairman Dennis Priebe worked so hard to bring what was once some scribblings on a piece on paper in a living room, into a reality, the charity has come a long way since. From working out of a garage to now being on a beautiful lake watching our Trustees working in unison with our long-standing volunteers to recognise our goals. We wanted to share a few stories with you. 


Meet Rob Lamonby

Hi I am Rob and I have with Cerebral Palsy but it does not stop me living life to the max. This is me on the 303 Boat nicknamed Barbie. Quite frankly I think pink suits me and I think men ought to be in touch with their feminine side...enough joking around. This is my story.

  • In the summer of 2017 I was looking for something a bit different to do. I heard about Rudyard Sailability and their adaptive boats for people with disabilities.
  • Sailing sounded like a great idea so I went up to Rudyard Lake to visit Dennis and the team and they were so welcoming and explained how everything worked.
  • It took little convincing and not long afterwards I had my sailing course and started to learn how to sail and I was hooked. Being on the water is so nice and so relaxing especially when the weather is nice. But I have to admit when its windy it can be exciting but a little scary although the team are so supportive.
  • Learning to sail has been great because I got to make new friends, we get to share our experiences and have so many laughs together. One of the best bits is that I get to bring my family with me for a great day out too.

Meet Head Teacher  

from Burnwood Community School

by Diane Herbert 

  • According to local Head Teacher Diane Herbert from Burnwood Community School, they have been fortunate to use the facilities at Rudyard Sailability to support our pupils with specific and complex needs from our school. 
  • Being a Community school based in an area of significant deprivation, Rudyard Sailability has enabled us to provide sport-based opportunities for pupils who otherwise would never be able to even dream of sailing or taking part in water sports. Some children who on their first visit had never seen a lake before.
  • Being a mainstream school it has also been a partnership with Sailability where our pupils have gained a better understanding of living in an inclusive Modern Britain. Some of our more able bodied pupils have worked alongside less able bodied pupils from local Special Schools, our pupils have a better understanding of acceptance and they have embraced firsthand the School Sports Values of : Self Belief, Teamwork, Determination and Respect.
  • They have also had the opportunity to raise their self-esteem and confidence through aspects of the teamwork and helping others. They have been taught the importance of caring for equipment and water safety, but most of all they have been provided with an amazing experience which could plant a seed in a child’s mind which could lead to them wanting to take up this sport and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
  • We are very thankful for the enthusiastic volunteers who staff the Sailability Charity Project; they provide equal opportunities for members of our community. We are pleased to be a partner involved in their fantastic work.

Meet Chris Hankey

An inspiring volunteer tale

by Chris Hankey (our volunteer hero)

About 10 years ago I offered my helped with a friend at Rudyard Sailability's Annual Fundraising Summer Dragon Boat Race. I was so inspired and I enjoyed the experience so much and the people that I decided to offer my services as a volunteer to the charity on a regular basis. Sadly we do not have as many volunteers as we want. So now I do a full range of activities both on and off the water and even away from the Lake at various events that the charity is involved in. I take our members out for a sail, I helm bellboats for the children, I assist with safety on the rescue boat. I have been fully engaged with the building project from the ground up - helping out with all jobs.

I feel that the work that I do is so fully appreciated by the Team here at Rudyard Sailability, all of whom are volunteers themselves. I love the camaraderie of working together and the sense of achievement when we get when we complete a task. It is a really friendly atmosphere and we all get along well with each other and all our visitors. There is a sense of family here too. Volunteering has changed my life as it gives me something meaningful to do with my time, even more so now I'm retired. It's great to be part of a charity, in a beautiful spot that does so much to improve the lives of children and adults living with disabilities.

Meet Martin Taylor

Our Inspirational Volunteer

by Martin Taylor (our volunteer hero)

I first started Volunteering with Rudyard Sailability in the summer of 2017.  Typically I volunteer weekly, on the regular Tuesday sessions. I've been involved in outdoor sports for a while (e.g. Kayak coach, climbing instructor, a scout leader), so am used to leading groups in a considered way.

On Sailability Tuesdays I regularly take disabled children out Bell Boating, which allows us all to experience the natural world from a slightly different viewpoint, watching herons stalking, grey wagtails and martins swooping and catching flies, fish jumping, wonderful views down the Lake. And the opportunity to learn about teamwork to get the boat moving. We have a lot of little games we've invented, and the repetition of these each week can be reassuring to some of the children. 

Through some of the charity training I've been able to sail with disabled adults, some of whom have become real regulars (and friends), and are always incredibly keen to get on water: the specially adapted "Access" boats give great freedom to learn and improve sailing in a very safe environment.  There are some very dedicated and skilled people at Rudyard Sailability and it's great to feel part of the team. 

But the real buzz is on a sunny day, when the whole team is engaging with adults and schoolchildren, with several craft on the water, and smiles all around. That's when the organisation is at its best, and it's great to be a small part of the team making that possible. I think the most significant thing I see through Sailability is the opportunity to give some different people, who often are excluded from such environments, the opportunity to experience this world – that is quite special. 

Meet the Watermill School Kids

By Jonathon May

Executive Head Teacher

What inspired you to bring your pupils to Rudyard Sailability?
In trying to give our pupils the widest range of experiences possible we find the scope of the Saleability offer is a fantastic way to take them just that little bit further than any other kind of activity offers.
How long have you been part of the charity?
We have worked with the charity for around 15 years.
What, in general, are the various challenges facing your pupils?
Pupils are unsure of new situations so wearing buoyancy aids, uneven and moving surfaces and open water all bring their challenges to anyone who is not used to this environment. Our pupils however often have additional needs such as communication whereby they are given the opportunities to overcome difficulties using new skills and knowledge.
What support does the group receive from the volunteers?
Expertise and reassurance.
What are the benefits to the children?
Our students benefit at many levels from social to physical and well as developing new skills that include coping skills.
Are there any additional benefits to your visit to the Lake?
The whole lake set up brings a different dimension to education that is in its self-motivating and breaks down barriers for vulnerable pupils.

Meet NG Health Care

NG Health Care

by Lisa from the Activities Team

David use to be an avid keen sailor for years, sailing all around the globe with his family for many years. Sailing at Rudyard lake is an amazing opportunity for him to bring back all those lovely memories, whilst taking in the calm scenery.
We have brought 7 different residents to Rudyard last year which will hopefully be more this year, for us is the timing of medication that hold us back, but Dennis has been very flexible with our trip times which helps us out massively. The access to the boat and on the boat is fine, a bit wobbly on the car park surface. We try to encourage the family to enjoy the trip/experience with the residents as much as possible, and the ones that have attended have enjoyed the experience.
We have used the café a few times in the good weather, but we mainly come for the boat trips and scenery.

Every year we cannot wait for the good weather so we can get back out to visit the team at Rudyard Sailbility again.


Get Involved Today
Be a Hero    

Be our Hero

At Rudyard Sailability our volunteers are our heroes. Simply because our volunteers are the lifeblood of what we do. To us this is true heroism in real life. We do have the funding to employ a team. 

We really do know just how valuable your time is to you. And your time is just as valuable to us too. It is exactly why to us you are a hero, you are members you are a hero, and to all the lives you touch here you are a hero.

Our charity depends on you to achieve our goals, along with its members, and our volunteer trustees. We would not survive without you.

Some volunteers are here every week and some once a month. Some who work from home, and some here on the Lake, there is room for everyone. Even if you were a family wanting to enrich your lives at the Lake we would love to hear from you. Abled or Disabled come & be our volunteer heroes - make the difference that counts.

So often we wonder how we can do more. Volunteering your skilled mind, or becoming a sponsor or a donor helps you leave an imprint in the world. This is without question leaving the world a better place.

Aside from building up our volunteers, we want to build up our volunteer management team. If you are interested in being a part of our management committee we would love to hear from you. Meeting would take place every month. 

In particular we need volunteer that are
Avid sailors
Serving or ex-Military Personnel
Emergency Service Personnel
Fundraiser Managers or Events Managers
RYA Instructor
HR Manager
A PR Manager
A Project Manager 
Good Admin Personnel
A Social media Executive or Manager 
A Graphic Designer 
An Accountant or Book Keeper
Legal Advisors or Solicitors
In Catering or a Catering Manager

If you cannot be part of the management committee but can spare a few hours a month, we still want to hear from you. Whatever your skills are we know we can put them to use.

Becoming a Member is Simple 

Our memberships help with the running costs of the charity each year. Equally so, in comparison our rates are very low. Membership fees run from January to December year to year. As our annual expenses rise, we will increase fees slighlty each year.

If you are a Volunteer of the charity you will qualify for a £1 annual membership fee.
It will also include your first training course free of course and a DBS check.

For more information email us at

Under 18's

per year

access to volunteers
use of changing rooms and boat house facilties

  • includes use of life jacket
  • includes use of sail boats
  • includes help onboading
  • includes access to rescue boat 


per year

access to volunteers
use of changing rooms and boat house facilties

  • includes use of life jacket
  • includes access to rescue boat 
  • help onboard & use of sail boats


per year

access to volunteers
use of changing rooms and boat house facilties

  • reduced riced courses
  • includes use of life jackets & sailboats
  • access to rescue boats & assistance onboarding


per year

Includes First Aid Training

  • includes cost of a DBS check
  • includes reduced price courses
  • includes use of sail boats & life jackets when not in use


Charity Chairman

Dennis Priebe

Favourite Life Quote 

Life is for living 

Retired Company Director

Why is Rudyard Sailability so important to you:

I have been shown that Sailability has the power to transform the lives of people living with disabilities. Sailing can give a new sense of purpose and achievement that improves self-esteem and gives opportunities for people to achieve their full potential

Most Memorable Day on the Lake with us:

Seeing one of our eight-year-old members teaching Olympic Gold medalist Sarah Webb how to sail using finger-tip controls. It was fabulous to see such empowerment. 

Favourite things to do:
Anything to do with RS - The variety of activities required both on at off the water certainly means I am forever learning new skills and never at a loose end. At home I love gardening with my wife Cynthia, playing with our Chihuahua Timmy and having a pint at the pub with my nephews.

Why should Rudyard Sailability matter to the public:

In this era of reduced opportunities for those living with disabilities it is essential that we strive to provide safe and exciting experiences both on and off the water. Our service plays a vital role in engagement, fulfilment and achievement for our members, volunteers and supporters that cannot be found elsewhere.

Favourite Joke:

Two fish in a tank, one says to the other, "How do you drive this thing?"

Charity Secretary

Jackie Griffiths

Favourite Life Quote

When in doubt, do the right thing

Retired B&B owner

Why is Rudyard Sailability so important to you:

I love being involved in a meaningful project that aims to enrich and enhance the lives of others whilst working alongside a team of awe-inspiring volunteers. I am captivated by the endless magical moments on the Lake and excited at the unfolding opportunities for the development of our Charity.

Most Memorable Day on the Lake with us:

A pontoon full of empty wheelchairs as the "Wheelies" Sports Club were all out sailing. Our Charity Goals were being met.

Favourite things to do:

I enjoy sailing, paddling or hitching a ride on the safety boat up the Lake and stopping off for a picnic. I enjoy having adventures with husband Rolf, daughters Candice and Tilly and with our golden retriever Lexi.

Why should Rudyard Sailability matter to the public:

The outstanding reach and inclusion across all communities is an important aspect of Rudyard Sailability. We offer opportunities to people of all abilities to come together to work as a team to achieve worthwhile, rewarding and memorable outcomes.

Favourite Joke:

An inflatable boy goes into an inflatable school with a pin, the inflatable head teacher says, "you've not only let me down, you've let yourself down and the whole school down!"

Chief Sailing Instructor 

Gary Lowe

Favourite Life Quote

The quality not the longevity of life is what's important (Martin Luther King).

Retired University Lecturer

Why is Rudyard Sailability so important to you

Our members are some of the most inspirational people I have had the honour of meeting. They revel in creating a culture where diversity thrives, seeking opportunities to find a fitting place for their specific gift and talent. Members have often gone on to gain lifetime achievements that 'couldn't be done'. Being a part of this is both a humbling and rewarding experience. You see it levels another molehill in the playing field.

Most Memorable Day on the Lake with us 

It was a busy summer day in August. The sky was blue, birds were singing, children laughing and everyone was enjoying the lake. Nobody on the water was disabled! What a day!

My Favourite things to do 

Laugh and love, no particular order. If I can mix this with family country walks, sailing, painting, reading and travelling so much the better.

Why should Rudyard Sailability matter to the public?

Because quality of life should matter to everyone.  Come along, get involved and see for yourself.

My Favourite Joke

On the very first sail a nervous sailor asked the instructor on board, "do yachts like this sink very often?" The instructor replied, "no, usually it's only once."


Linda Gill

Favourite Life Quote

Carpe Diem 
Latin, ‘seize the day!’, a quotation from Horace

Retired Accountant

Why Rudyard Sailability so important to me?

Sailing is something that everyone can do. Whether just sitting there and enjoying the ride or actually sailing the boat yourself. This is not possible with many sports for those who have a disability so as a sailor myself I like to see everyone being able to enjoy a day on the water.

Most Memorable Day on the Lake with us  

I don’t think that you need a most memorable day at the lake. There are many great days when the sun is shining and there is nothing better than just bobbing about on the water.

My Favourite things to do

Spending time with my dog whether it be out walking or just playing games with her such as hide a tennis ball for her to find.

Why should Rudyard Sailability matter to the public?

It is so important in getting disabled people into sport. Whilst opportunities to do so are increasing they still remain limited compared with those available to the able bodied. Rudyard Sailability is inclusive to all disabilities.

My Favourite Joke

I do love a good joke but have never been able to remember them so do not really have a favourite one.

Liaison with Local Government and the Press

Charlotte Atkins

Favourite Life Quote:

May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears (Nelson Mandela)

County and District Councillor, Leader of the Opposition at Staffordshire County Council.

Why is Rudyard Sailability so important to you:

My daughter is a wheelchair user and I know the struggles she has every day to live an independent life in the face of so many obstacles: pain, discrimination, inadequate public transport, inaccessible buildings, and public hostility. 

Most Memorable Day on the Lake with RS:

When I brought Ed Balls MP and Treasury Minister down to the Lake & we were struggling to get planning permission for our Boathouse. He got into the pink Barbie boat with Tilly. His only concern was that Tilly might find his presence too nerve wracking but I assured him that Tilly knew far more famous people than him.  He was very happy to do anything which would help promote our campaign.

Favourite things to do:

Exploring the natural wonders of our world and going on safari.

Why should Rudyard Sailability matter to the public:

Because it provides those with every sort of disability and their families the chance to break free from their constraints and just have a wonderful experience in the most beautiful of tranquil settings. It is particularly vital at a time when so much is being taken away from people with disabilities: benefits, support services and dignity. RS is the most amazing charity being run on a shoestring by people with real experience of disability for those with disabilities.

Favourite Joke:
I am partial to most jokes.

Legal Advisor

Anne Morris

Favourite Life Quote:


Retired Solicitor and Business Owner 

Why is Rudyard Sailability so important to you:

Most Memorable Day on the Lake with us:

Favourite things to do:

Why should Rudyard Sailability matter to the public:

Favourite Joke:

IT & Electronics Advisor

Jibreel Arshad

My Favourite Life Quote
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't - you're right." Henry Ford

Computer Electronics

Why Rudyard Sailability so important to you?

It was the 1st time I was able to do something by myself. Allowing me to be myself showed me there were times I could fly solo. It was a great feeling, one I want others to experience.

Most Memorable Day on the Lake with us 

At the lake was one where there was no wind. Just Dennis our Chairmain and myself, stuck on shore adapting a boat so I could sail solo. I still enjoy sailing the boat that we adapted from 14 years ago.

My Favourite things to do

Computers, Electronics, Cycling, Sailing and Stand up Comedy.

Why should Rudyard Sailability matter to the public?

It gives disabled people hope and teaches them new skills that can be translated into every day life.

My Favourite Joke
P1: Go get ready for the party
P2: I'll wear my secular jeans
P1: Why?
P2: My religious jeans are holey


Position Avail

Favourite Life Quote:


Why is Rudyard Sailability so important to you:

Most Memorable Day on the Lake with us:

Favourite things to do:

Why should Rudyard Sailaibility matter to the public:

Favourite Joke:


Position Avail

Favourite Life Quote:


Why is Rudyard Sailability so important to you:

Most Memorable Day on the Lake with us:

Favourite things to do:

Why should Rudyard Sailability matter to the public:

Favourite Joke:

Rudyard Sailability

creating sailing experiences for everyone

The Rudyard Sailability Timeline


The Beginning

Rudyard Sailability was established at Rudyard Lake by a small group of sailors living with disability. This newly registered Charity operated out of an old concrete sectional garage with the vision to provide a new, fully-accessible building to support its operation.


Royal Yachting Association

The Charity received Foundation Entry Level from Royal Yachting Association, Sailability, as the Charity developed to accommodate every category of disability, and welcomed aboard all those living and working with disabilities. This approach brought along a vital raft of volunteers willing to train to deliver sailing; safety cover; moving and handling; shore-side duties and help with the management, fundraising and promotion of the Charity.


Planning Permission Declined

An expected refusal for planning permission drew media attention and inspired the community and local professionals to support the charity in its determination to build a boathouse to meet the needs of its membership.

2006 - 2007

We are now an RYA Training Centre

In 2006 the Charity became a recognised RYA Training Centre enabling the delivery of RYA qualifications. The charity was shocked to receive a second refusal for planning permission, but with even more support from the community, they battled on.

In 2007 the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) announced that Rudyard Sailability was to be the first National Centre for Excellence and Education. Serving MP, Ed Balls, presented this award. 


2000 Visitors per Season with No Planning Permission

Following the refusal of four planning applications in total the charity finally received planning permission led by a dynamic volunteer Barrister at Appeal in a Public Inquiry. The old shed was pulled down, the boats went into storage and building work could now commence.


A shoe-string service & The Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Throughout this building process the Charity continued to offer a shoe-string service from a lakeside portacabin.

The group was honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service in recognition of the outstanding contribution made to those living with disability.  


Her Royal Highness Visits our Charity - Princess Anne

HRH The Princess Royal, President of the RYA, made a visit to view progress on the building which drew lots of media attention and investment in the building project. The Club also became a Disability Awareness Training Centre.

2016 - 2019

Sports England helps Build the Boat House

The boathouse was signed off by the Building Inspector for use as storage so the boats were returned and the portacabin removed.

The Charity were delighted to be awarded funding from Sport England, so in partnership with local contractors, supporters and volunteers the push to complete the final phase of the building project began.

Contractors are sourced, and Rudyard Sailability begins its building project under the watchful eye of chairman Dennis Priebe.


Plans to relaunch a New Boathouse by mid Summer 2020

Rudyard Sailability prepares to finish the building project and relaunch the charity so it is best placed to deliver safe and high-quality sailing and water-based experiences, from a base that is fit for purpose and will provide independence, inclusion and dignity to all members.



With your support, you are helping to make sure that people living with disabilities can enjoy a life that helps them live life to the fullest. Gift Aid adds 25% to your donation at no additional cost. If you are a UK taxpayer, you can make your donation worth 25% more with Gift Aid. For every £1 you give to us, we receive an extra 25p from HM Revenue and Customs.


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We do get 25% extra on the amount you donate if you are eligible for Gift Aid.


Pay as you Earn via Payroll Giving

 If you decide to donate £10 each month from your salary, only £8 is actually deducted by your employer and the taxman pays us the rest. Or if you're on a higher tax rate (40%), only £6 comes out of your salary and the taxman pays us the rest. If this sounds amazing talk to your company today about the Payroll Giving Portal. It is really easy to set up and we do not need your bank details. You stay in charge and you can stop or change the amount at any given time, it is confidential and best of all its tax efficient for you and us.


Legacy Payments

Leaving a gift in your will is a gift from the heart, one that will change the way our members and guests live forever. Your gift will offer those living with disabilities the chance to continue to enjoy sailing, enabling them to learn new life-long skills whilst making new friends. We advise anyone thinking about this approach to consult legal advice. To know more, email us for more information or a confidential talk.

Our Contacts

Postal Address:

The Secretary 
Rudyard Sailability Charity
Leek, Stoke-On-Trent,
United Kingdom
ST13 8XB

Helpful Number :

Phone: 07837271783     (Volunteer No.)
If there is no answer kindly leave a message and we will
get back to you. Alternatively text us a question and your details to get back to you.

Our Current Hours:

Fri - Mon - By Arrangement (Contact us)
Tues - 10am until 2pm
Wed - Thurs - By Arrangement (Contact us)

Visit Us at Rudyard Sailability 

Rudyard Lake

Lake Road
Nr Leek
ST13 8XB

After driving along Lake Road take
the driveway on your right down to
the lake. The Rudyard Lake car park is
at the bottom of the driveway.  Please take care as the driveway is a little uneven. Note there is a parking fee. So carry a few £1 coins to be safe.