At the end of May, seven different charity groups and some 60 guests enjoyed glorious weather on canal barge trips provided, skippered and crewed by the local Rotary Clubs of Hungerford, Thatcham and Newbury. This is an annual weekly event that has traditionally been organized by The Rotary Club of Newbury over many years as part of our community programme but now has been expanded to include the Thatcham and Hungerford clubs. Over a full week the groups are taken on sections of the Kennet and Avon Canal from Great Bedwyn to Woolhampton and back using the Bruce Trust specially adapted barges designed to accommodate disabled people and wheelchair users. Groups entertained on these recent trips included members from Berkshire Autistic Society, Partners for Active Leisure, The Castle School, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Alzheimers Society and New Dimensions.
Further trips are planned in August and September with other groups. These future trips in part combine with
The Bruce Trust’s brilliant idea to take one of their boats, The Diana, to the London Paralympics, and the Rotary Clubs of Newbury, Hungerford & Thatcham are supporting this by crewing Diana on part of the journey through their area from Great Bedwyn to Woolhampton.
Diana will be taken via the Kennet & Avon Canal, down The River Thames, up the Regents Canal and into the Hertford Union Canal to its mooring place during the Paralympics. While there, The Bruce Trust hopes to be able to invite some of their groups who have tickets to the Paralympics to use the boat as a base whilst visiting the games and other groups without tickets to use it as a base to explore the capital at this exciting time.
After the finish of the games, Diana will then return to base at Great Bedwyn.
Rotary runs countless humanitarian projects both locally, nationally and internationally, and also partners with many charities worldwide. By combining our skills and resources, we are able to make a real contribution to the lives of others.
49 Laylands Green, Kintbury, Hungerford, Berks, RG17 9UB
Tel: 01488 658540
Rotary Club of Newbury web address: http://www.newburyrotary.org
Rotary’s main objective is service in the community, in the workplace, and around the globe. There are 1.2 million Rotarians who make up more than 34,000 Rotary clubs in nearly every country in the world who all share a dedication to the ideal of Service Above Self. Rotary Club of Newbury is one of those clubs.
The Rotary Club of Newbury is one of 1,855 clubs within Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland (RIBI) which has in total over 55,000 members. It in turn, is an integral part of Rotary International, the world’s first service organisation.
Bruce Trust web address: http://www.brucetrust.org.uk/
The Bruce Trust is a registered charity providing specially-designed, purpose-built, wide-beam canal boats, for hire for self-catering, self-steer holidays by disabled, disadvantaged or elderly people along with their family, friends or carers.
The Trust has a fleet of four boats. Rebecca and Hannah are 12 berth, Diana is 10 berth and Rachel is 6 berth. Each boat has the highest quality accommodation and the ultimate flexibility for people with a wide variety of special needs. They all have a fully equipped galley with cooker and fridge, central heating and flushing W.C. The extra width of the boats provides excellent manoeuvrability for wheelchair users and they all have special built-in facilities.