Duchy Health Charity

Cornwall’s leading grant giving health charity for the promotion of health and wellbeing
and the prevention of sickness in Cornwall and The Isles of Scilly

Founders of healthcare and wellbeing related initiatives
can apply for grants to help reach their objectives

A ‘secret’ lake, a unique offer and over 5,800 total hours of subsidised water sports in 2021/22 – what’s not to support?

Posted on 3 September 2022

For some years now the Duchy Health Charity has supported the Children’s Sailing Trust, formerly Helford River Children’s Sailing Trust and you will see a story on our website about the safety boat we helped them purchase a few years ago, so our Trustees were thrilled to be asked to visit a new venture that this charity has begun in a magical ‘secret’ lakeside location in the heart of the Lizard peninsula at Trevassack.

The Trust began life on the idyllic Helford River in 1997 to provide life-affirming water sports sessions for local education groups, primary and SEND schools.

We support them because they give disadvantaged and SEND children the opportunity to learn to sail which improves their health and wellbeing and, by being on the water, gives them competence, confidence and resilience.

Our Chair, Dr Barbara Vann, reminded us of the shock she had on becoming Head of Penair School and learning that there are so many children in Cornwall who have never been to the beach or swum in the sea.

On a wonderfully hot day in August, nine Trustees spent a memorable morning being shown around the new site, learning about the incredible opportunities available there, from stand up paddleboarding to wild water swimming and from sailing to just ‘messing about on water craft’, as well as the history of the site.

The search to find a location where water could be safe and accessible to all began in 2013 with the disused quarry at Trevassack finally purchased in 2015.

The Trust had been left a very valuable endowment and were able to move quickly to purchase the site and establish a safe environment and landscape the shore in readiness for further funding to begin building an accessible water sports centre with holiday accommodation on site.

In 2021 the dream became a reality with a collection of 6 houses and cabins enabling accessible leisure opportunities for families. With 60% of current bookings made due to their accessibility provision, Trevassack was able to welcome everyone with much-needed time away together.

The accessible houses are fitted with integrated ceiling hoists in their ‘high dependency’ bedrooms which gives access to their fully accessible bathroom, hoists are provided for the hot tubs which are inset into the huge level non-slip wooden decks and hoists are available on the pontoons to enable guests to access the accessible watercraft.

As Martin Barlow, Chair, says, ‘With facilities unlike anywhere in the UK, Trevassack Lake’s particular focus is on creating opportunities for those with disabilities and special educational needs to experience the joy of water sports for themselves’.

But this holiday venture is for all. Abled and disabled are equally welcome. And if you are a family with Carers or Grandparents who want to be all together then, with a mixture of adapted cabins and fully accessible houses, all can be catered for.

One recent guest said ‘We had the most amazing time. Our first son who is quadriplegic had some great 1:1 open water swimming along with our typical 6 year old son who also thoroughly enjoyed it and did not want to return home. We too enjoyed the experience on the floating classroom and we did some kayaking with our special needs son’.

The site will, of course, be continually developed to the highest standard. The three beautiful fully accessible timber houses have been built with financial support from The Clare Milne Trust and other charitable trusts (Clare Milne was the granddaughter of AA Milne). Pooh and Christopher Robin would have loved to play Pooh-sticks on one of the lake’s river outlets and in fact a ‘Monet Bridge’, previously located at Trebah Gardens on the Helford, has recently been donated to the Trust so this could become a reality!

Jakie Jewell, Chief Executive says, ‘We are all passionate about championing our state-of- the-art offering at Trevassack Holidays alongside our mission of water sports for all. My next dream is to become the only place in the UK to provide all the facilities for accessible waterside weddings! Imagine the photo album memories this magical lake offers with the wedding couple floating off into the sunset on their own solar powered floating deck. Yes there is a wild island that no one can get onto yet…

HRCST has changed its name, with the new offer of both river and lake locations, to Children’s Sailing Trust and for more information and further photographs see www.childrenssailingtrust.org.uk. Both locations are running contiguously to full effect.

Trustees on the floating classroom left to right, Dr Barbara Vann, DHC Chair, Trustee Carol O’Brien and Sally-Jane Coode, Chair of Grants
Clubhouse and Café
One of the Clare Milne sponsored houses
The ‘new’ beach
‘Nerth’ for ‘Trelya’ (Power for Change)

‘Nerth’ for ‘Trelya’ (Power for Change) As a grant giving organisation, supporting non-profit organisations that contribute…

Admiral nurses – Dementia UK

Dementia UK – Admiral Nurses Grant award: £16,000 backing for Cornwall Admiral Nurse service expansion…

Healthy Men, Happy Lives

Healthy Men, Happy Lives The Plymouth Sports Charity was founded in 2010 with the vision…

Skip to content