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Cotswold Boatmobility Wheelyboat Batteries

by Cotswold Boatmobility in Ryeford, England, United Kingdom

Cotswold Boatmobility Wheelyboat Batteries
We did it
On 7th July 2021 we successfully raised £4,023 ( + est. £114.25 Gift Aid ) with 41 supporters in 28 days

We help people with disabilities to enjoy being on the water safely and free of charge. We need your help.

by Cotswold Boatmobility in Ryeford, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Additional money would be spent on our planned expansion as the restored canal is opend up.


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We are a Charitable Organisation based in Stonehouse, near Stroud set up in 2015 by Jan Thomas (above) with the aim of bringing the now proven benefits of accessible boating to people who find it difficult to participate for physical, mental or financial reasons. Jan has years of experience working with disabled people and has a son with learning difficulties.

Like most charitable organisations, in 2020/21 we have been hit by the pandemic but not having any paid employees or property overheads has meant that we could survive, however to get back on track we do need to raise some funds now. Of particular concern is the condition of the propulsion unit of the Wheelyboat. We have had this vessel for over 4 years and the propeller, motor and batteries are showing their age! We immediately need to replace the batteries, ideally we need 2 sets so that the boat can be used more often and with complete reliability. We are looking to raise about £3000.00 for this. You can help us with this by simply going to the How To Enter box above and following the instructions, remember you must be signed in for your share, like or donation to be counted. We need to earn points from likes and shares (one point) and donations (10 points) to be eligible for a £2,500 grant from Calor Gas, it doesn't matter how small the donation is, this is a numbers game and points mean Grants! 

In the longer term we are planning significant expansion so need regular donations and more volunteer help. If you think you can help us with this or just want to know more about us then read on. 

Recent research has confir1622991785_170043640_4438572056156196_6521275994168875803_n.jpgmed that the long held belief that being in the countryside, preferably by water and participating in a physical activity measurably improves both physical and mental wellbeing. Cotswold Boatmobility allows people not usually able to participate in these activities to get out on the water and enjoy the benefits. Whether it's the independance of paddling a KataKanu, the self worth of steering our Wheelyboat or the joy of social mixing in a group taking part in a healthy and interesting activity, there's no doubt that people benefit from our service. 

Our Boats

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We currently have 5 KataKanus which are very stable six-seater twin hulled canoes. A KataKanu costs over £2,500 so this represents a significant investment for us. They are paddled like a conventional canoe and service users are encouraged to participate in this healthy and enjoyable activity.

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We also have a Wheelyboat which is an electrically powered wheelchair accessible boat capable of carrying 6 passengers plus a steerer, the layout is such that a wheelchair user can steer the Wheelyboat. We are grateful that the Wheelyboat Trust, who own this boat, allow us to use it on a long term free loan basis although we do make voluntary donations to them when our finances permit however we are responsible for the maintenance, upkeep and propulsion system.

In total we can ca1622983559_169856077_4438572206156181_7290569571466962388_n.jpgrry up to 37 passengers per session consisting of service users, their carers/friends and family and our volunteers. Each session lasts about 2 hours on the water and consists of a leisurely cruise down the canal taking in the wildlife and activities on the towpath, a stop for tea and buscuits and sometimes a picnic and a leisurely cruise back. Wildlife watching, photography and sometimes litterpicking are high on our to do list. Occasionally "music" is provided by itinerant ukulele players and everyone is free to join in. The banter, scenery and activities on the canal vary with the sevice users, weather and season and no one seems to get bored and no one is left out.

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The Stroudwater Navigation is currently under very active restoration by the Cotswold Canals Trust and Stroud District Council and it is anticipated that it will shortly be connected to the main national canal network at Saul Junction and eventually to the Thames at Lechlade. As this work proceeds opportunities to expand our operations both in terms of the number of session per week and additional locations will present themselves. This means an exciting new leisure facility for the whole of the local community and we are determined that those in the greatest need will be able to derive their share of these benefits. We aim to increase the number of sessions per week and also the number of locations we operate from as new areas of the canal are restored. Expansion will require funding for more equipment and more volunteers.

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We are totally financially dependant on the goodwill and generosity of individuals and funding organisations to keep us going (not to say afloat). We have no paid employees or property committments but we do need funding for new boats (we have a plan to buy our own new Wheelyboat), maintenance and upkeep materials, volunteer training (safety is of course our first priority) and overheads such as insurance etc. We make no charge for our service but if a donation is offered it is gratefully accepted. The above costs are best met by regular monthly donations, if you can help with this then please email us at info@cotswoldboatmobility.org.uk 

We currently have 15 very active volunteer1623713136_lifereallisbetter.pngs. The most important attribute for our volunteers is being able to understand and have sympathy with people with disabilities. The commitment is very flexible, and volunteers take varying amounts of responsibility, training in first aid and water safety will be given. We have a lot of boating volunteers so boat handling isn't an essential skill, but a very useful one. If you'd like to volunteer with us then please email us at info@cotsoldboatmobility.org.uk

If you think that you or any of your friends, family or aquaintances would benefit from a safe, quiet, pleasurable trip on the beautiful Stroudwater Navigation then email us at info@cotswoldboatmobility.org.uk 

Thanks for reading this far and remember Points Mean Grants.  

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