Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


The Ethel Trust is a charity that provides canal and river experiences for vulnerable groups in South Yorkshire. With support from Aviva, we would be able to provide day trips on the Stainforth and Keadby Canal for up to 200 elderly people during the summer of 2018, passing through some of the most picturesque waterside areas in South Yorkshire.

This project will give the opportunity for those in residential care to have a day out, experiencing the tranquility and beauty of a canal cruise in addition to socialising with others.

The Trust operates a community barge, The Ethel, which is run by volunteers who have all undertaken nationally recognised training. Each day trip has a 'skipper' and two crew, and in addition to running the boat they are keen to engage with the passengers throughout the trip to ensure that their time on board is as enjoyable as possible. We encourage all our passengers to have a turn at steering the boat. One of the photographs above shows a passenger demonstrating to the crew how to do it!

The barge is specially constructed to accommodate passengers with disabilities or with limited mobility. Lifts at each end enable passengers to easily access the front and rear decks, even those in wheelchairs. The lounge, which is centrally heated, has large double glazed windows providing superb views of the waterside. There are toilets with full disabled access, and a fully equipped kitchen.

A typical trip on The Ethel would begin at the marina in Thorne, a quiet market town in South Yorkshire, making its way towards Barnby Dun, passing the historic village of Fishlake, through Stainforth and Kirk Bramwith, negotiating locks and bridges along the way. It's not unusual to see swans, heron, kingfisher and even a glimpse of deer.

Passengers from previous trips have commented:

'Thanks for giving us such a memorable day. So much fun and laughter'

'A lovely day out together as not many activities are wheelchair friendly where we can all take part'

'We have had so much fun and enjoyment today, weather was beautiful and the crew absolutely amazing'

Some of these vulnerable people in residential care have few visitors, and even fewer opportunities to enjoy a day in the beautiful surroundings of the inland waterways. Please support our project by voting, and help us improve the lives of elderly people in the community.

The Ethel Trust

We are proud to be inclusive and operate for the benefit of the whole community. We have experience of groups with diverse needs - from groups of young people with autism, to the elderly with dementia or personal care needs. This year we have worked with over 1000 older, disabled and young people.

Location: Doncaster