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  1. ITV Report

Charity challenge for Natasha

Gary and Natasha on an early sailing trip Photo: Lambert family

In the words of her mother Amanda, Natasha likes partying and going out and she loves sailing. Problems during birth meant Natasha's brain was starved of oxygen, which caused her to develop cerebral palsy.

She can't control her muscle movements, but that hasn't put her off sailing single-handed around the Isle of Wight in a boat which she operates using just her mouth.

She became interested in sailing after a family holiday a few years ago and, inspired by Canterbury sailor Hilary Lister who is quadriplegic, she's planning her round the island challenge for 8th September.

Hilary Lister became the first disabled woman to sail solo around Britain in 2009 and Natasha's hoping to one day achieve the same feat. She also wants to sail the Atlantic.

Natasha's parents Gary and Amanda say Hilary has been a real inspiration and the sailing system she uses, controlling her boat with three straws in her mouth, was where they came across the idea for Natasha's own sip and puff system.

Using a single straw in her mouth, Natasha can sip or puff to move the rudder in different directions. She also has a switch which she operates with her tongue to change the controls so they move the sails instead. Her boat, Miss Isle Too, has been adapted by Gary, who installed the system.

Gary and Natasha sailing on a family holiday Credit: Lambert family

Natasha's round the island trip will be raising money for Isle of Wight Scope, the RNLI and the Dame Ellen MacArthur cancer trust. Her parents say Natasha wants to show that anyone can do anything, regardless of their ability.

There's something out there for everybody to try, there's something challenging that you can do and sailing works for Natasha but no matter what your disability, there's always something out there.

If she has a great time and it inspires other people to have a go then that's even better."

– Amanda and Gary Lambert, Natasha's parents.

Natasha's been spending the last few weeks practising and is hoping for light weather conditions to make her attempt. Although she'll have an instructor on board with her in case of emergencies, she'll be doing the sailing by herself.

For more information about the challenge or to sponsor Natasha, visit missisle.com.

Watch Hannah Costigan's report here.