Swarkestone Sailability is based at Swarkestone Sailing Club located in abandoned gravel works south of the city of Derby.
The club was originally formed in 1959 and moved to its current location in 1970. In 1999, the club decided to extend its appeal by making sailing available to all sections of the community. This led to the start of Swarkestone Sailability, with the specific aim of enabling disabled people to get out on the water.
As a community-aware business with a track record of supporting local charitable initiatives Bott initially supported the club by helping purchase some Access sailing dinghies, specifically designed for disabled sailors.
As Sailability developed, the club needed a Pontoon/Landing Stage wide enough for wheelchairs and stable enough for hoists (required to lower some sailors in to boats). At this point Grahame Woodward, a former Managing Director of Bott used his design and Bott’s fabrication skills to develop, build and install a customised pontoon which answered the specific access needs of the disabled sailors.
This along with the ongoing dedication of the volunteers and members of the club enabled Swarkestone Sailability to grow and expand. In 2015 the club approached Bott with a request to extend the pontoon. Bott then built the extension and worked with volunteers at the sailing club to attach this to the original pontoon, thus giving a much bigger area from which to launch boats.
Bott’s collaboration in this project alongside disabled sailors, care assistants, local care homes and the sailing club’s able-bodied members has produced a genuine community-led effort to improve and enrich the lives of all involved. The project has delivered on many fronts. Bott’s employees are proud to be associated with this community success story.