The Rotary Club of Rochdale East raised £8,500 for the purchase of a Hansa 303 to be based at Hollingworth Lake and it has now been presented by the  High Sheriff of Greater Manchester, Sharman Birtles JP DL, accompanied by the Mayor and Mayoress of Rochdale.

The boat has been named after singer Gracie Fields and it will be used first of all by the Next Step Trust,  a charity that supports adults with learning difficulties and complex health needs.

It aims to provide a comprehensive day service along with individual support.Graham Knox, who is President of the Rotary Club of Rochdale East and a stalwart of the sailing club saidthe club would like to thank everyone who donated and helped to make the event a reality.

He added: "We are sure that the dinghy will be a great benefit to the community."

Meanwhile, funding has been secured for another Access Boat for the region to be based at Bolton Sailing Club. Grant funding of £3000 has been obtained and this matched by the North West RYA, so an order has now been placed with the manufacturer.