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IFA puts on sailing events for visually impaired

IFA puts on sailing events for visually impaired

Maven Wealth Management has teamed up with the Visually Impaired Sailing Association (Visa-gb) to organise two events offering sailing opportunities to blind and visually impaired individuals.

Maven, which is the Welsh regional office of Independent Wealth Planners, said Visa-gb aims to challenge the misconceptions around visual impairments.  

The events will provide both fully blind and visually impaired individuals with the chance to become an integral part of a yachting crew.

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Wes Nixon, chief executive at Maven, said: “After sailing with Tim and working with Visa-gb for the past few years, I’m familiar with the great work that it undertakes. Maven has always supported important causes - Visa-gb is unique, and we wanted to support and raise the profile of a charity that doesn’t have the exposure of some of the larger, more established ones.”

The first taster sail event will be held on October 2 in the Milford Haven area and will be followed by a two-boat sailing week in June 2022, entitled ‘Maven Week’. 

During the event, both sighted and visually impaired participants will be offered the chance to get involved in all sailing duties which will include: helming the boat, raising the sails, trimming sails, hauling lines, and cooking and cleaning. 

This will be under the supervision of a fully qualified, sighted skipper.

Nixon added: “To date, organised sailing events have largely been limited to the south coast of England, especially around the Solent. 

“However, here in Wales we are very proud of our beautiful coast, and thought this would be a great chance for Visa-gb to engage with more visually impaired individuals in Wales and offer sailing opportunities to those unaware of its work or who have been unable to participate in other events.”

Tim Sandford, trustee at Visa-gb, added: “Sailing a yacht takes teamwork, and our watchword is empower. We empower the visually impaired sailors to become an integral part of the crew. 

“Teamwork and the social interaction on a boat builds confidence, which is a priceless attribute when you realise that unemployment in working age adults with sight loss is over 60 per cent. Maven’s involvement and support are turning dreams into reality.”

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