The Helford River Children’s Sailing Trust (HRCST) will be holding an open day on 19 May at the site of its planned National Centre of Excellence for Watersports for All, at Trevassack Lake on the Lizard Peninsula. Visitors can learn about the Trust’s plans to develop the 26-acre disused quarry, where building will soon commence, and can experience a range of fun, free, water-based activities. Taking place during the RYA’s month-long Push The Boat Out national campaign, the open day will run from 10am to 4pm at Trevassack Lake, Garras, near Helston, Cornwall.

The Cornwall-based youth charity, dedicated to helping children gain confidence, competence and resilience through watersports, has recently received funding of £1.9 million to help realise its dream of a facility for all young people – particularly those with special needs and disabilities.

Simon Osborne, HRCST CEO, said: “We are delighted to be able to introduce the public to Trevassack Lake for the very first time, giving people a taste of the activities and facilities that will available on-site when the watersports centre opens in spring 2021. Visitors to our open day can explore the lake by sit-on-top kayak or paddleboard and enjoy accompanied sailing with our qualified instructors on adapted Hansa dinghies and standard craft. There will also be a designated area for wild swimming.”

Martin Barlow, HRCST co-chair, added: “The funding, awarded by the Coastal Communities Fund and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development, has given us the green light for development at Trevassack Lake – a project we have been progressing for more than three years. Work will begin on-site later this year, beginning with the building of a learning centre and two specially adapted, high-quality lodges to provide family accommodation suitable for children with severe disabilities.

“We look forward to welcoming visitors to our open day to see the adaptations already in place – including pontoons for boat and kayak launching. We’re particularly excited to be able to unveil a unique floating classroom, which will be used for outdoor learning and to give young people with disabilities the chance to experience the freedom of being afloat. This innovative craft, pioneered by HRCST trustee Jonathan Thornton and generously supported by the Mark Benevolent Fund, can carry groups of up to 15 people, including three wheelchair users. We hope visitors will come and give it a try.”

Helford Hog Roasts will be catering on the day, with HRCST benefiting from all income raised. Hot drinks and cakes will also be available, with plenty of space for picnics. Visitors who plan to try any activities can bring their own wetsuits, or old clothes and a suitable waterproof jacket, although buoyancy aids will be provided.

Access is via a single-track road, with onsite car parking and overspill parking arrangements in place on the day. Those with additional needs or mobility problems are encouraged to discuss their requirements for activity provision or parking with the HRCST on 07855 785102 or at info@hrcst.org.uk.