A CHARITY which helps disabled people enjoy life at sea has praised the people of Greenock for offering them such a warm welcome.

Jubilee Sailing Trust, which has been operating for more than 40 years, brought the Tall Ship Tenacious to town for a short stay and people flocked to see her at Custom House Quay.

Service veterans and cadets were also welcomed on board along with corporate guests as a way to showcase the charity and boost sponsorship.

Philippa Clare, senior strategic partnerships manager for the Trust, said: "We offer opportunities to people with disabilities, veterans, cadets and those from disadvantaged backgrounds to corporate guests who have the best in life, who come aboard the vessel.

"It is a levelling environment.

"We are delighted to be in Greenock.

"We are hoping to build better connections here and hope to come here quite a lot in the future."

The ship's captain Barbara Campbell who lives in Kirn, near Dunoon, has spent her life at sea, starting as a navy cadet, then working on cargo and cruise ships and with P&O Ferries.

She has been with the charity since 1996 and has served as captain since 2002.

Barbara said: "We try treat everyone the same.

"There are things that a person with disabilities can do on this ship that they couldn't do on another ship.

"Many people come back year after year and it can boost people's confidence when they recognise that they are who are actually sailing the ship.

"They are all part of a team.

"It's a great opportunity for people to come on board, everyone works as a team."

People with all kinds of disabilities, including wheelchair users, can access all areas of the unique ship.

There is braille throughout the vessel and if sailors can't use the wheel to steer, they can use a joystick instead.

Tenacious has space for 40 voyage crew and has a permanent crew of between eight and 10.

Rebecca Taylor and Claudia Johnson, both 23, are Merchant Navy officer cadets.

Rebecca, who came through the route of racing dinghies nationally, said: "Sailing has always been in my blood.

"It's been amazing being on the ship and the training we've received is the best training possible, you're never frightened to ask questions."

Claudia, who completed a degree in business management, was inspired to join the cadets after spending time on Tenacious when she was 18.

She said: "I came on the ship as voyage crew and met some officer cadets and applied.

"I think Custom House Quay is amazing and I really enjoyed going for run along the Greenock waterfront after work."

The ship left Greenock this week to sail to Liverpool but it's hoped she will return again in the near future after her successful stay.