The charity that other charities use

A busy 2016 Wednesday evening Open Session at BLS pic Christine Harper

We’re delighted to have been chosen by South East Antrim Scouts as their nominated charity for 2016/2017. After speaking about BLS recently to a group of their leaders, BLS Chair, Paul Bunting, contributed an article for the excellent Green Seas Newsletter. We thought we’d reproduce it here as it neatly sums up what Belfast Lough Sailability is all about.

Belfast Lough Sailability (BLS) is delighted to have been chosen as South East Antrim Scouts nominated charity of the year for 2016/17. It is an honour to be considered worthy of your efforts and your support will make such a real difference to the lives of many people with disabilities and from all backgrounds. Working in Carrickfergus, BLS is an all year round operation run entirely by volunteers and having no paid staff. Since 2001, when we were working with 2 borrowed boats and with only an umbrella for shelter, we have grown to having an enviable fleet of over 20 assorted sail and power boats and to having our own ‘cabin’ as a centre of operations.

We are always looking for new volunteers to do all the usual tasks associated with boats and customer service, afloat & ashore. No experience necessary as we have our own in house RYA instructors and a great sense of teamwork. All we ask is that volunteers are keen and willing to help.

Our Saturday sessions run all year round and between early April to mid-September we run ‘open door’ sessions  on Wednesday evenings. Through the months of May-August we take 2 bookings per week for groups who want their own weekday session. Without our volunteers we couldn’t make it work. Whilst we are based in Carrickfergus, we’ll often travel with our boats by sea or road to bring sailing to those who can’t come to us.

We exist to make sailing & watersports accessible to everyone and work to break down the barriers that discourage people from trying sailing.

Volunteering with BLS is a really rewarding and fun experience. You’ll have the opportunity to get internationally recognised sailing & boating qualifications at minimal cost and all within a friendly, fun, safe environment.

The newsletter can be viewed and downloaded by clicking/ tapping the following link:  http://greenseas.org.uk/Oct2016.pdf (it’s on page 5).

(Main pic by Christine Harper: a busy BLS Wednesday Evening Open Session at Carrickfergus Marina.)

Cub Scouts at BLS Try a Boat May 2016No fewer than 100 Cub Scouts came boating with us in May 2016 to celebrate their organisation’s 100th birthday. (Pic: Nigel Thompson)

 

 

 

 

Ariel shot by Nigel Thompson Cub Scouts 100th Birthday at BLSAriel shot of the cake cutting ceremony at Carrickfergus Sailing Club during the Cub Scouts 100th birthday visit.(Pic: Nigel Thompson)