New Royal Patron for Wetwheels Foundation
The Trustees of the Wetwheels Foundation, the charity dedicated to providing the opportunity for disabled people to access the sea, has announced that Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal, has agreed to become Patron of the Wetwheels Foundation.
Commenting on the Royal Patronage, Founder of Wetwheels, Geoff Holt MBE DL, said: “This is a tremendous honour for the Wetwheels Foundation and a proud moment for everyone involved in making the organisation what it is today. The Princess is a keen sailor herself and she truly understands the benefits to be gained for everyone from being afloat on the water, including for those people with disabilities.
“From the organisation I founded a few years ago, Wetwheels has come a long way and has provided the opportunity, where none had previously existed, for many thousands of disabled people to access the sea, most for the first time and, for a moment in time, to be captain of a boat. From the feedback we receive and from the look on faces I witness at sea, I know that Wetwheels is bringing great joy and fun to many disabled people and to share that moment with their friends and families. To have Royal endorsement of Wetwheels makes me very proud indeed”.
Andy Fell, Chairman of Wetwheels, said: “Wetwheels has come a long way since we started with just one boat several years ago. We now have five boats with more planned and we are taking in excess of 6,000 people a year to sea, over 80 per cent of whom having never been on the water before and a significant percentage of those have profound and complex, often life-limiting disabilities.
“Having the Princess as our Patron is a great honour and will help us promote the unique work we are doing at Wetwheels, often with the most marginalised and excluded members of our society. As we look forward to the next phase in our development, to identify new locations for Wetwheels boats around the UK, having the Princess as Patron will help raise awareness and help us promote the work of Wetwheels.
The Princess Royal launched the fifth Wetwheels boat, Wetwheels Yorkshire, in Whitby last year and the Wetwheels Foundation plans to identify a further five sites around the UK over the next five years.
Wetwheels provides the opportunity for all disabled people to access the sea in a safe, stimulating and rewarding way on board specially-built, fully-accessible powerboats