Toe in the Water is the official charity of the Aberdeen Asset Management Cowes Week again this year.
The charity offers “competitive sailing for injured servicemen", and began in 2008, with that year's Cowes Week being their first and biggest event.
By the end of this year, the charity will have had almost 200 servicemen come through their ranks.
Tanya Brookfield one of the directors of Toe In the Water explains how they differ from other charities in this field: “Toe in the Water is all about rehabilitation, what we’re not is a disabled sailing organisation and we’re not an adaptive sailing activity. The boys who come along are referred to us by their consultant or physiotherapist, and they are sent to us with a specific set of goals that they have to work on.”
What they are able to do is bring back a sense of order to these men’s lives. When they are out at sea, they are in a team and taking orders, and working together as a unit. This is something Tanya says that is often lost after they become injured: “What Toe in the Water tries to do is put the boys back into a team environment. So what we try and do is take all the commonalities that a professional racing team would have with the military. Now that might sound a bit odd but when you think about, you have a clear chain of command, you have a skipper who would be your Sergeant Major, you have a uniform so everyone looks the same. Because after you are injured you can feel singled out, that’s not what they want - they just want to be like everybody else, so we give them a team uniform for on the boat and on the shore. So when people see us out - whether it be out in the streets or the beer tents - what they see is a bunch of guys who are racing together.”
The charity has numerous events through out the week all of which can be found on the links below: