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The Wheelyboat Trust received almost £1,000 in funding from a West Sussex Co-op community fund: credit – Emily Whitling
A CHARITY has received almost £1,000 in donations to help wheelchair users explore the UK’s lakes, rivers and canals.
The Wheelyboat Trust, based in Petworth, near Pulborough, was one of three charities to receive funding from the West Sussex Co-op Local Community Fund.
The charity has provided over 200 wheelchair accessible boats, called Wheelyboats to sailing clubs, schools, fisheries and other organisations across the country since 1984.
Andy Beadsley, director of the Wheelyboat Trust, said: “After such a difficult 18 months and at a time when funding for community groups and charities is harder to come by, we are incredibly grateful to benefit from the Co-op’s Local Community Fund.
“Without donations and the ongoing support from individuals and organisations, our work would not be possible.”
The Wheelyboats enable wheelchair users to board safely and independently and aim to bring a newfound freedom to anyone with a mobility impairment, and the ability to participate in outdoor, water-based activities alongside family and friends.
There are three different models of the vessel, each with roll-on, roll-off access, and all hand built and fitted out to order.
Co-op members in the county can choose which charity they wish to support, with two pence in every pound going towards the cause or organisation of their choice.
The trust, which was initially known as the Handicapped Anglers Trust, aims to help and encourage venues open to the public to acquire Wheelyboats for their disabled visitors and help groups and organisations get the boats for their own use.
To date, the charity has built and supplied 215 vessels across the UK and Europe.
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