Health and wellbeing

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


The funding will be used to provide free days on the water for 300 disabled and seriously ill children and adults from all over Gloucestershire and beyond who spend a day on board the two Willow Trust purpose built fully wheelchair accessible broad beamed canal boats moored on the beautiful Gloucester - Sharpness Canal near Frampton on Severn. Because of all the facilities on board even the most profoundly disabled person can spend a day away from their normal surroundings. This day provides fun, hope, inspiration, memories and for many a feeling of great achievement. In total up to 7,000 disabled and seriously ill children use the boats every year and all of them totally free of charge. A sense of hope is often given to those facing the daily challenge of living with a disability or illness. For many of our guests such as those with cancer, brain injury or strokes, the day offers a chance to be an active participant , rather than a passenger, providing them with the opportunity to steer the boats, talk to new people, extend their horizons and rebuild much needed confidence. Because The Willow Trust receives no statutory funding or grants and raises all its own money it is totally dependent on the kindness of others to stay afloat.
People should vote for us because this amazing facility allows up to 60 people, every weekday through the season an opportunity to meet away from their normal surroundings, a time to relax together and a day that many guests tell us they are so transported by the tranquility and excitement of doing something so completely different that they are able to put their disabilities and cares to one side. It is special for guests of all ages, from small children with often very complex needs through to elderly people suffering from dementia.

The Willow Trust

Moment of Pride

Two beautiful and loved boats, 'Spirit of Freedom II' and 'Leonard Matchan', two skippers who ensure the boats are 100% reliable because the demand means they are used every weekday and our wonderful team of welcoming volunteers who ensure every guest enjoys a day they never dreamt possible.

Location: Saul