Last Thursday, June 22, Mary MacKillop Outreach (MMO) program, run by St Vincent de Paul Society, sailed on Sydney Harbour in Winds of Joy for people with disabilities. Alice and Tanya from the Office of The Hon. Malcolm Turnbull MP, Prime Minister & Member for Wentworth, who is a patron of SWD, joined us.
“We were very impressed by the work of the SWD volunteers and delighted to see how happy the participants were out on the water,” Tanya said.
In bright sunshine and the gentlest of breezes, we raised the headsail and cruised along Sydney Harbour. Men and women from Mary MacKillop had a go at steering and we did “pancakes”—flattening ourselves on the deck—as the headsail passed over us on the bow. It was also Tanya’s first time sailing, ever, and she steered us up Sydney Harbour, guided by our friendly SWD volunteer crew.
SWD volunteer, Ann, said, "The wheelchairs were easily accommodated on the boat and it was so much fun for everyone. They were so excited when coming on board as they've been on before and knew what to expect. It was a perfect sailing day."
It was the fourth time on Winds of Joy for some participants from MMO. Their support worker, Anton, explained that those who've been on board before get quite excited when they know they're coming sailing.
"It's a highlight for this group, they're all adults, who do all sorts of activities in the day program with us--they mention sailing often. The calm that comes over them afterwards is fantastic. They just love being out on the water."
MMO is a program of St Vincent de Paul Society, affectionately known as "Vinnies", and offers an extensive portfolio of educational programs designed to encourage social inclusion, personal growth and significant life skills. If you want to know more about that program, go here: https://www.vinnies.org.au/…/H…/Mary_MacKillop_Outreach_MMO/
You can help run more programs like this by donating here.