Disabled sailing charity, EAST (East Anglian Sailing Trust), is riding on the crest of a wave and is appealing for votes after reaching the finals of the National Lottery Awards – the annual search for the UK’s favourite National Lottery-funded projects.
EAST is competing in the Best Sport Project category. The project beat off stiff competition from over 700 organisations to reach the public voting stage in this year’s National Lottery Awards, which celebrate the inspirational people and projects who do extraordinary things with National Lottery funding.
The project with the most votes will be crowned the winner and receive a £5,000 cash prize to spend on their project, an iconic National Lottery Awards trophy and attend a star-studded glittering awards ceremony to be broadcast on BBC One on 26 September 2018.
EAST provides children and adults with disabilities regular sailing opportunities helping to improve their confidence and independence. Since 1997, the East Anglian Sailing Trust (EAST) has built up a team of more than 100 volunteers and a fleet of 14 boats at its base at Suffolk Yacht Harbour.
The charity provides sailing cruises each year for blind adults from all over the UK and beyond, on yachts fitted with special talking charts and instrumentation provided by EAST members. EAST has been recognised as a ‘Sailability Centre of Excellence’ as a result of their fantastic work.
Comedian and EAST supporter, Griff Rhys Jones, says: “EAST does simple, effective and ultimately fantastic work. Blind and disabled people happily report that sailing suddenly frees them. They can experience power and grace and capability at the helm of a boat. It takes you to nature. It takes you to explore and discover the water and the coast. It grants freedom.
I was so honoured to be asked to open the new centre and to meet some people who have been directly affected by this organisation’s work. It was moving. They deserve all our support. The rivers and creeks of the east coast are very dear to me. To be able to share them in such a way is inspiring. Go for it and please vote for EAST in any way you can.”
Musician, Activist and National Lottery Awards Ambassador, Professor Green, says: “It’s thanks to National Lottery players, who raise over £30 million each week for good causes, that extraordinary projects like those in the finals of the National Lottery Awards are possible.
“EAST is doing an incredible job for the benefit of its local community and the work they do is hugely impressive. So what are you waiting for? Give them your support and get voting!”
To vote go to lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/awards. You can also follow the campaign on Twitter: hashtag #NLAwards. Voting runs from 9am on 27 June until midnight on 27 July.
There are seven projects competing for votes across seven categories, reflecting the main areas of National Lottery funding: arts, education, environment, health, heritage, sport and voluntary/charity.