The launch on 14 September will make watersports more accessible for individuals with physical disabilities.

Mariners of Bewl, the club behind the project, support the integration of physically disabled and able-bodied people through sailing. The club, based at Bewl Water for the past 30 years, is accredited by the Royal Yachting Association Sailability programme.

The hoist and pontoon took two years to plan and cost over £20,000 to purchase and install. Thanks to grants and donations from the RYA Foundation, Sports England, Bewl Sailing Association, Hilary’s Dream Trust and a number of generous individuals and groups, the ‘Big Lift’ project has finally taken off.

Richard Hayden, a trustee of Mariners of Bewl, said: “We are very grateful for the generous support of the organisations and individuals who have funded the hoist, davit and pontoon. The equipment now means that those who need a hoist on a stable platform to transfer from land to boats can now do so in a safe and more dignified way and allows us all, irrespective of a disability, to get on the water and enjoy our respective activities.”

Photo left to right: Steve Brown, the Mayor and Will Street cut the ribbon.

Operations Manager at Bewl Water Phil Daley enthused: “We are extremely excited to have these new facilities on site and look forward to seeing more and more people enjoy the fantastic sport of sailing at Bewl.”

Steve Brown added: “Whatever sport you are part of, however able or disabled you are, sport is huge. It bridges gaps, it makes friendships, it gives people common ground and that is really important. Sport has been a massive part of my life.”

If you are interested in sailing with Mariners of Bewl please make contact by e-mail 

To find out more about sailing opportunities for disabled people, or those that need specific support to get on the water visit www.rya.org.uk/sailability.