Jenny Charles, an outreach worker for the Southampton-based Rose Road Association recently went sailing aboard the Jubilee Sailing Trust tall ship, Lord Nelson, with 16-year-old David Smith who has cerebral palsy. She has written an account of the adventure for Access All Areas

"It is Wednesday morning and I'm 116ft up in the air, standing on a six inch piece of rope hanging on for dear life.

Just two more steps up and I'm there, the highest point on the boat where I can finally clip on and appreciate the view of Cherbourg and let the colour come back to by knuckles.

That was just one of the achievements I experienced on our weeks voyage on the Lord Nelson tall ship.

We set sail from Southampton with 11 permanent crew and 29 other crew of which at least a third had disabilities.

Myself and Nathan James were double buddying David Smith, one of the five wheelchair users on board, who is a pupil from Treloars School in Alton.

I spent the first 24 hours on mess duty, which meant I stayed in the galley most of the time helping with food preparation, setting tables, cleaning up, etc. This didn't mean I got out of the daily routine, bizarrely named "Happy Hour", in which everyone gets dirty and cleans the entire ship, whether it be bathrooms, cabins, heads (toilets), sweeping, vacuuming, polishing and even scrubbing the decks.

There is a daily routine on the boat that enables life to run smoothly. Nathan, David and myself were all in Forward Starboard Watch.

This means all hands on deck to stow sails. To do that we go to our muster point, which is forward starboard.

The adaptations to the ship are slight. It was specifically designed for the use of people with disabilities. It doesn't look like it's just had a face-lift with lots of things stuck on.

The only notable difference is there are lifts incorporated on every level, so you can get a wheelchair around the entire ship, but even these fit in with the design of the ship and aren't obtrusive. Our voyage took us to Alderney and Cherbourg where we were able to have shore leave on both occasions and sample the local delights.

No one was ever left out or told they could not do something, which is what an experience like this is all about, pushing boundaries and encouraging confidence. For me the quote of the trip was from David, when I was asking him about his views on it. The one that really hit home was "the ship is good and being able to join in with everything is great".

We docked back in Southampton, all exhausted and worn out but having achieved something that lots of people would have thought impossible.

I found the trip a very emotional and humbling experience that made me grateful for all I can do.

"I was proud to have been given the opportunity to meet and sail with such fantastic life-loving people."