A HELENSBURGH woman is preparing to head to Abu Dhabi for the Special Olympics World Summer Games.

Laura Carrick, 38, is a trustee for volunteer run organisation Able2Sail, which aims to make the water accessible to people of all ages and abilities.

The charity, based at Inverkip, takes families with children who have disabilities out on the water and partners young people together to develop their sailing and team working skills.

As previously reported in the Advertiser, the charity has won praise from a Helensburgh family who regularly use Able2Sail to allow them precious time together.

Young people between the ages of 12 and 25 with a disability are partnered with young people in the same age bracket without a disability to develop their skills.

The Youth Forum promotes social integration and gives young people the chance to learn the value of team work and the importance of removing inequautes in society by reducing the stigma of disability.

A team from Able2Sail represented Scotland West at the Special Olympics in Sheffield last year. Laura was one of the unified partners and the team were successful in gaining two silver medals and one bronze.

It was the first time that sailing had been represented by a Scottish Team. Following on from their success the group were recently told that they had been chosen to represent Great Britain at the World Games in Abu Dhabi.

So far the team for the World Games consists of Shannon McGhee, 21, with Laura as her unified partner, Jamie Kearns, 20, who will compete with Darren MacGregor, 19, as his unified partner, and David Hill, who is based at Castle Semple Lochwinnoch, and who will act as Great Britain coach.

Last weekend the team received a further accolade when they were awarded the 2018 Sailability Team of the Year Award at the annual RYA Sailability Awards.

The Team of the Year award recognised a team who, by working together, have achieved significant success and raised the profile of what is possible.

Laura said: "The kids have been training really hard and we were all blown away when we won Team of the Year against very strong competition."

The team are now looking ahead to Abu Dhabi and are looking for sponsorship as a significant amount is needed to get them there.

Laura continued: "For able2sails Youth Forum Sailing Team who did so well in the Special Olympics to be picked to represent Great Britain in the World Games is absolutely fantastic.

"All of the young people are excited and looking forward to a pretty rigorous training regime between now and the the event in Abu Dhabi.

"This whole journey has been life changing for the Team."

Able2Sail are also always on the lookout for volunteers to help them continue to make sailing and time on the water accessible to everyone.

Anyone interested in volunteering or sponsoring the team is asked to get in touch with Able2Sail.