Isle of Wight teenager Natasha Lambert has been recognised for her fundraising by the RNLI. Pictured here with mum Amanda Lambert (left), Hilary Lister and Toby May.
THE inspirational fundraising of an Isle of Wight teenager who sailed around the Island in a boat she operates using just her mouth has been recognised by the RNLI.
Natasha Lambert, who has acute cerebral palsy, raised an incredible £16,000 for three charities close to her heart — the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust, Isle of Wight Scope and the RNLI — when she circumnavigated the Island in her specially adapted boat, Miss Isle, last year.
Her determination, courage and willpower, described by Dame Ellen as "nothing short of outstanding" proved such an inspiration, Natasha has been invited up to London to receive the RNLI’s National Youth Supporter Award at a ceremony in May.
She was nominated for her award by James Vaughan, the RNLI’s director of fundraising and communications.
He said: "Natasha epitomises the spirit of the RNLI. She has overcome massive challenges to achieve an amazing result and has raised a phenomenal amount of money for the charity.
"That money will help us to save lives at sea."
Proud mum, Amanda, said news of the award had come completely out of the blue.
She said: "We had no idea she had been nominated.
"She is absolutely delighted to receive this award from the RNLI and she is now planning her next challenge."
Using a straw, the 15 year old, from Northwood, can sip or puff to move the rudder of her boat in different directions.
She also has a switch, which she operates with her tongue, to change the controls so they move the sails instead.
Natasha took 12 hours to sail the 50-nautical-mile course and received a hero’s welcome from the many well-wishers who gathered in Cowes to watch her cross the finishing line.
She was escorted by a flotilla of boats, including Cowes Lifeboat, which flew a large banner reading "Well Done Tash".
Natasha had been in the boat for 13 hours and her lips were bleeding.