Charity Awards 2024

Wetwheels Foundation

Providing life-enriching adventures at sea for all disabled people

Wetwheels builds disabled people’s confidence and improves wellbeing by providing sea-going adventures in specially-adapted power boats.

The charity was founded five years ago by quadriplegic yachtsman Geoff Holt MBE, and now provides more than 3,000 people with sea-going adventures each year, particularly those with profound and complex disabilities. Wetwheels provides a unique experience and over 80 per cent of participants say that they had not been able to access the sea before.

After recognising that many disabled people either could not or did not want to participate in sailing programmes, Wetwheels have commissioned bespoke boats with ramped access to the steering position and a chin-operated steering system so the boats can be driven by people who can only move their heads.

Wetwheels also runs outreach projects into communities around the UK to inspire new operators and has created a Disability Awareness in a Maritime Context training course that can be used sector-wide. Wetwheels works through a series of social enterprises who help to bring its work to coastal communities up and down the country.

Wetwheels’ work has been praised by the minister for civil society, Tracey Crouch, who said it was a “fantastic example of a charity that brings people together to raise awareness and support the most vulnerable”.

Wetwheels currently has five boats and plans to launch a further ten boats over the next five years, meaning it will be able to reach over 15,000 participants a year.

CC reg no: 1148600

Disability category sponsor: