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Patients' Boat to be Launched by Olympic Yachtswoman Shirley Robertson 

Double Olympic gold medal yachtswoman Shirley Robertson will name and launch the 19 and half foot sailing boat built by patients at Salisbury District Hospital for people with spinal cord injuries at 2pm on Saturday, May 20 at the Marina, East Cowes, Isle of Wight.


People with spinal, back and hand injuries turned their hands to boat building as part of a unique project to give patients in the Wessex Rehabilitation Centre the therapy they need to help with their injuries.

Over the last five years, they have worked together to build the Caledonia Yawl. The boat will be used by patients in the Duke of Cornwall Spinal Treatment Centre who need to take part in a number of activities as part of their own rehabilitation.

The £8,000 project was made possible thanks to a number of donations and contributions from local people and organisations. This included £4,000 from the Salisbury Rotary Club and another £1,000 from the Wilton Youth Band.

Neil Donnelly, Manager of the Industrial Workshops in the Wessex Rehabilitation Centre said, "This is a remarkable project, as one group of patients has worked hard to produce something that benefits other patients in the hospital."

"The work required to build a boat, linked in well with the therapeutic needs of the patients, as it involved a mixture of high and low skilled work. This also meant that when people finished their hospital treatment, others could easily take up where they left off."

Mr Donnelly added: " We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who gave their generous support to the project, either through individual donations large and small, or by providing materials for the boat to be built. "

"Unfortunately we cannot name them all. However, we appreciate their help as it was their input that enabled us to take this unique project forward." End

Notes to editors:

Reporters and photographers are invited to attend the launch and naming which will take place at 2pm at the Marina, East Cowes, Isle of Wight.

If you would like to attend please contact Patrick Butler (details below).

The Yawl has been designed by Ian Oughtred and based on the Shetland fishing boats near his home in Scotland. The Yawl is a stable craft which can carry a crew of four, with seating specially designed and developed for disabled people by researchers at Brunel University.

Shirley Robertson made history when she became the first British woman to win gold medals in successive Olympics in Sydney and Athens.

For further information please contact:
Patrick Butler, Public Relations Manager, Salisbury Health Care NHS Trust. Tel: 01722 425170

Page Last Updated: 08/05/2014 10:05 
Printed from Salisbury NHS Foundation Website