Just 12 months ago the Mark Benevolent Fund awarded a Major Grant to ‘Safe Anchor Trust’, a Mirfield Charity which provides free Canal Boat trips for disabled and disadvantaged people, mainly children and young adults. The grant was for the refurbishment of one of its Canal Boats, ‘Safe Anchor Lady’.
The refurbishment was completed in March, just as the country went into national lockdown, but we have just received the following update from Safe Anchor, showing that all has not been lost this year. Such initiatives and creative thinking has been widespread throughout or own and many other organisations this year. True examples for us all:
“The COVID 19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the operations of Safe Anchor Trust, with none of our ‘traditional trips’ running this year.
Almost without exception our passenger groups are in the ‘vulnerable category’ and it was very clear from the start that none of them would be venturing out, even when the regulations and guidelines were relaxed in July.
We were very conscious that our boats, including the newly refurbished ‘Safe Anchor Lady’ were idle, but with social distancing being almost impossible on a boat things were very difficult for us.
Challenging times needed a creative solution and we introduced ‘Bubble Boat Trips’ (BBTs). These are short trips, around 50 minutes, specifically for individual households and their support bubble, so social distancing amongst them is not required. The two crew members remain at the rear of the boat, socially distanced from each other, the passengers in the main cabin or on the front deck.
We have run BBTs every other weekend since the beginning of August, with 10-11 boat trips per day, and they have been hugely popular with every trip booked within minutes of becoming available.
To get a true impression of how successful BBTs have been, please take a look at the Safe Anchor Trust Facebook site to see the photographs and comments our passengers have made.”
Safe Anchor Trust
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