10 Years of the Trust: SwansAid Revisited
As part of our ’10 Years of the Community Trust’ campaign, which is celebrating the successes our official charity has had over the years, we will be sharing stories and exclusive interviews from the heart of our local communities.
Through their grant-giving scheme, SwansAid, the Swans Community Trust have granted more than £140,000 in funding to a range of community organisations, charities and grassroots sports teams across South West Wales.
SwansAid aims to financially support clubs, charities, organisations or projects that encourage young people or those with disabilities to get involved with sport and live active lives.
Surfability UK, a not-for-profit community interest group, which provides surfing experiences for people with disabilities, was awarded a SwansAid grant of £10,000 in 2013.The grant has had lasting effects on Surfability and has helped them get more people with disabilities involved in surfing.
“The ongoing impact has been huge – we are still using the equipment that was purchased,” said Ben Clifford, director of Surfability.
“Last year we had more than 450 people in our sessions and this year we expect more than 500.”
Surfability used part of the grant to purchase a beach access wheelchair which has proved essential in the inclusion of many participants who could not otherwise access the beach.
“The beach access wheelchair has enabled us to allow lots of people have their first ever experience of going in the sea,” added Clifford.
“The funding has also allowed us to go on and develop seated tandem surfboards which are specifically designed for wheelchair users.”
The grant has helped Surfability to continue to make a significant impact in the local community.
“We have really made an impact in the community and continue to provide weekly surfing sessions for local disabled people,” Clifford continued.
“It has also allowed us to give local people experience of working with disabled people through coaching and volunteering.”
Surfability have now been able to make waves on the international stage, travelling as far as California following the introduction of their Wales Adaptive Surfing Team.
“We have gone on to start the Wales Adaptive Surfing Team and have twice taken an athlete from Wales to compete at the World Championships,” Clifford explained.
“We are now able to coach from total beginner level all the way to a world-class standard.”
Take a look at the announcement of the latest SwansAid winners HERE.
The autumn round of SwansAid applications will open in September 2018. To be the first to find out when it opens, follow @SwansCommunity on Twitter, or like the Swans Community Trust Facebook page, HERE.