Farmoor Reservoir Pontoon Project celebrates charity status at Beale Park 22/6/06

The Pontoon Project at Farmoor Reservoir in West Oxfordshire, which will give more disabled sailors access to their sport, has been granted charitable status.

To celebrate this good news, The Pontoon Project will be on display at the Inland Waterways Association (IWA) Annual Festival from 26-28 August 2006, at Beale Park, near Pangbourne in Berkshire. Plans will be available for the public to view, along with information on the benefits that sailing can bring to disabled people.

Also at the festival, visitors can take a trip along the river Thames and see nearly 1,000 historic narrow boats and Dutch barges that will be there. Children can take part in WOW (Wild over Waterways) activities, one of which will be on the Pontoon Project’s stand.

Having charitable status has a number of benefits for the project. It means that the £25,000 donated by Thames Water last year can now be banked and put to good use. It also means that many of the project’s local supporters can make the donations that they have pledged, on which Gift Aid can be collected. This additional 28 per cent on each donation will have a huge effect on fundraising efforts.

William Cowan, a local lawyer and disabled sailor, says: “I have been sailing at Farmoor for 20 years, racing, practising and just enjoying the wind. It has given me the opportunity to learn new skills, have fun and make many friends and I eagerly await the improved facilities that the pontoon will bring.”