PENARTH Yacht Club are delighted to announce that Sue Grant has been appointed the first female Commodore at the Club placing Sue amongst a group of women in leading roles helping to promote gender equality.

Penarth born, Sue was always determined to get involved and to help wherever she could, juggling her career with family life with two children. Sue trained as a nurse in 1977 at Llandough Hospital where she was a Ward Sister for 10 years, predominantly taking care of the elderly.

Sue moved to Practice Nursing following a back problem and after two years juggling childcare and rushing from one shift to another, Sue could see that she was always left trying to squeeze her daughters in around her career and wanted something different for them.

Sue’s position meant that she was able to explore a varied voluntary career. Shortly after her break from nursing, she got involved at her daughters’ school, Fairfield Primary in Penarth, starting the children’s library and becoming the chair of Governor’s, and staying on at the school after her two girls had moved onto secondary school.

Around the same time, Sue also became a Magistrate, a position that she held for 18 years, and later she joined the Adoption and Fostering Panel for Newport, where, for 8 years, she was able to draw on her own experiences of being adopted.

More recently, Sue has been dedicated to inspiring a new generation of girls and women at her Girl Guide Group which is thriving in Penarth. Sue is always on the lookout for women who have jobs or positions traditionally reserved for men such as engineers, surgeons and pilots to talk to and inspire this next generation of young women.

Interestingly, when Sue first tried sailing at 16 she hated it, she didn’t have the right kit and ending up cold and wet she abandoned the idea of going sailing for over twenty years. However, 12 years ago, Sue was encouraged to go sailing with her husband and some experienced sailors from Penarth Yacht Club; with the right kit, good teaching and encouragement, she found a new passion and became a member of Penarth Yacht Club.

When asked about her appointment as the first female Commodore of Penarth Yacht Club, Sue said: ‘I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed as the Commodore and I am looking forward to the challenges that this position will bring. The club has its traditional values, but moves have been made over recent years to make the Club more accessible. I am looking forward to keeping the momentum going. Penarth Yacht Club is a lovely place for people and families of all ages to socialize or indulge their passion for sailing or rowing.’

As Commodore, one of Sue's many roles will be to ensure the smooth running of the club and to continue to make improvements for the members. One of her first tasks was to help in the Raise the Lift Appeal, which kicked off with an incredibly successful 24-hour event raising £5,000 towards the installation of a lift at the clubhouse. The Penarth Yacht Club Committee decided to install a lift as a number of the Penarth Yacht Club’s elder members have found the club increasingly difficult to access due to the nature of the clubhouse and some very steep stairs. The clubhouse is a Grade || listed building dating back to 1880s which meant that the options to improve accessibility had to have minimal impact to the building and its infrastructure. A lift will not only make it easier for older members to access the club but also for members who may have mobility difficulties or are wheelchair bound.

The lift company Stiltz, came highly recommended to Penarth Yacht Club and have a nationwide profile. The plans for the lift are currently with the Vale of Glamorgan Council for consideration and awaiting a final decision.

The Lift appeal drew support from the local community and companies such as Archytas Strategic Planning and Masons Self Storage. Both companies donated to the appeal, and helped resource the Raise the Lift appeal event. In addition, Masons Self Storage have provided the time and resources of their Creative Marketing & Communications Agency, ONCREE. The Penarth Yacht Club held a 24-hour event to raise money for the installation of the lift and raised a fantastic £5,000.