A few very lucky people from Norfolk will get the opportunity of a lifetime to sail the world, helping to crew a spectacular Tall Ship as part of a mixed physical ability team. These incredible experiences, organised by the Jubilee Sailing Trust (JST), provide deserving people with the chance to redefine their own perception of their ability, as well as increase the awareness of others.

The Trust is today launching the Norfolk Berth Appeal, a local fundraising initiative aimed at raising funds to provide a life-changing experience for individuals with a disability. The event, which is taking place on the Woodbastwick Estate in Norfolk, will be hosted by JST President, The Hon. Mrs Jacquetta Cator.

The money raised will fund a berth for all or part of a voyage on board one of JST’s two ships, Lord Nelson and Tenacious. Voyages on board these ships range from a few days to the recent record-breaking ‘Sail the World’ challenge, which saw Lord Nelson travel 51,000 nautical miles. During the course of its journey, over 1,000 people had the opportunity to be part of the ship’s crew, 350 of whom have a physical disability.

The two ships cost £200 a day per berth to run (Lord Nelson has 38 berths and Tenacious has 40). It is for this reason that funding is needed to continue to provide once in a lifetime experiences for people with a disability, including those with a significant physical handicap.

The affinity of the charity with Norfolk stems from the naming of its flagship, Lord Nelson, after the county’s most illustrious sailor. Nelson lost the use of an eye and an arm while serving in the Royal Navy, and it is this spirit and refusal to be deterred that embodies the work of the JST. Through the generous donation of its supporters, it continues to offer people of mixed physical ability and age a unique experience.

Scott Warman, a Norfolk resident who crossed the Atlantic on a JST voyage, said: “We crossed the Atlantic and didn’t see land for 21 days. It’s the best thing I have done in my life. I vividly remember watching a blind 70-year-old man climb the rigging and thinking ‘if he can do that, I can do anything.’ It made me think about what I was doing and helped me to realise what I could achieve.”

Duncan Souster, Chief Executive of the JST, said: “We are hopeful that the Norfolk Berth Appeal will be able to provide an unforgettable experience for local residents of all physical abilities. We are also hopeful that it can raise awareness of disability and promote diversity in the Norfolk community.

“We are incredibly proud of the large number of people that contribute to the success of all of our voyages and we are very grateful for the continued support of our donors and volunteers, including the loyal Norfolk community.”