On Saturday 3rd December 2011 the crews on board the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s (JST) two tall ships Lord Nelson and Tenacious will be raising a glass to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities - an international observance which has been promoted by the UN since 1992. Lord Nelson will be on route from Southampton to Lisbon with a crew of able bodied and disabled voyagers. Tenacious will be in the Canary Islands preparing for an 8 day voyage around Tenerife with a mixed ability crew, including wheelchair users. The observance of this day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and to mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. This aim is as relevant as ever for the mission and ethos of the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST), an internationally recognised charity.
The JST promotes the integration of people of all physical abilities through the challenge of tall ship sailing on board its two ships. These are the only two of their kind in the world, purpose-designed and built to enable people of all physical abilities to sail side by side on equal terms. Everyone on board has a part to play whatever their level of experience or ability.
As Dame Danni Grey-Thompson, Olympic Gold Medallist and JST Vice –Patron says:
"The Jubilee Sailing Trust is a unique organisation. It provides a challenging yet safe environment where people can participate together as equals in the same team regardless of their physical status. It gives people the chance to demonstrate to themselves and others what they can do when the right equipment and facilities are available, giving people the confidence to keep challenging perceptions and prejudices and to reach their potential whatever that might be."
Charlotte a 25 year old Cerebral Palsy sufferer took her first voyage with the JST this summer – the first time she had ever been away from her parents. When Charlotte arrived back home her parents said that to see the difference in her was "brilliant". She had matured and seemed to accept that although in a wheelchair, she is an individual despite having support workers with her all the time.
As Libby Purves - Broadcaster and JST Vice - Patron says:
"Ever since I discovered square-rig sailing I have been amazed by these great ships' capacity to bring out the best, most companionable, tolerant, cheerful side of people. Then with the JST, I discovered that they also have the ability to cut away all the fears and prejudices that able-bodied people may hold about disability, and disabled people about their own strengths. Sailing together, we can all cheerfully admit our limitations, discover our talents and help one another across the seas."
International Day of Persons with Disabilities, 3 December 2011
Theme for 2011: "Together for a better world for all:
Including persons with disabilities in development"
The annual observance of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December was established by the International Year for Disabled Persons (1981). The Day aims to promote a better understanding of disability issues with a focus on the rights of persons with disabilities and gains to be derived from the integration of persons with disabilities in every aspect of the political, social, economic and cultural life of their communities.