About Us

Post Andrew Cassell's Paralympic success, winning a gold medal in 1996 in Atlanta, Andrew Cassell wanted to help others experience the same freedoms and opportunities that sailing had given him and to encourage the integration of disabled and able bodied sailors. He set up The Andrew Cassell Foundation in 1996 and since then has facilitated many disabled people with all types of impairments to start or develop their sailing journey. Today many are now racing competitively on the national and international circuits.

The Andrew Cassell Foundation supports individuals with physical disabilities, mental health conditions or long term illness to take part in yacht racing and cruising and encourages the integration of sailors with disabilities with able bodied sailors. Much of an individual's ability to deal with the serious, personal and lifelong challenges caused by their condition is centred around personal confidence. The Foundation helps to restore confidence lost through three primary interactions – adventure, socialisation and achievements. Sailing in keelboats and yachts provides the ideal environment for these to occur. Lasting impact is achieved through coach mentoring within an expert supportive culture over many years.

Impact of Disability or Illness

Disability or illness can isolate and de-motivate individuals. This can compound mental health problems and lead people to isolate themselves further still. Individuals can suffer from low self-confidence and struggle to develop self-esteem.

Over 11 million people with a limiting long term illness, impairment or disability in the UK.

Over a quarter of disabled people say that they do not frequently have choice and control over their daily lives.

Disabled people are less likely to be in employment than non-disabled people.

69% of adults with a health condition, illness or impairment felt that their condition restricted them from participating in sport.

85% of young disabled adults feel lonely.

57% of people who have experienced depression or anxiety said that they had isolated themselves from friends and family.

What We Do

Our primary activity is facilitating day sailing in keelboats as part of a 2- 5 person crew. The individual takes a full role in sailing the boat as part of a team, enabling them to step outside of their condition, with other people who have experienced similar conditions. The approach is tailored very much to the individual and their requirements. This can range from taking someone sailing for the first time, to facilitating regular relaxed sailing sessions to providing coaching to national and international level. For those individuals who are able, the Foundation provides the skills and longer term support structure to move them into able bodied sailing and racing, both in keelboats and yachts.

More than just sailing

Sailing provides a unique platform to develop self confidence. It is the perfect sport to feel tranquility and freedom on the water, or progress skills and become competitive. We focus very much on what the individual can do as part of the team and build on their personal strengths. As a team member they form relationships and develop communication and teamwork skills which are directly transferable to their everyday life. They experience the satisfaction of making the boat sail and progress to planning their own trips, taking into account weather and tides. The University of Winchester conducted a pilot study which found the following benefits of sailing, shown under the headings of the Government's five key outcomes for sport.

Physical Wellbeing

Mental Wellbeing

Individual Development

Social and Community Development

Economic Development

Physical Health

Mental Health

Social Interaction Skills

Interpersonal Skills




Problem Solving

Decision Making


Communication Skills


Sailing Skills

All of the benefits transfer seamlessly into an individual's everyday life. This allows them to re-engage with friends and family, improve their ability to plan a future and to regain their self-confidence.

Charity No. - 1057742