“Community Cruises” Set Sail To Give Communities Respite In Tough Times
Goboat Expands Initiative To Support More Displaced Communities With Free Guided Boat Trips To Provide Respite During Unprecedented Times
Eco-friendly boat hire’s Community Cruises relaunches to boost mental wellbeing of people with disabilities
GoBoat is working with a number of charities to provide relevant accessibility
Free boats available to any members of a displaced community at all GoBoat London and Birmingham venues every Tuesday
Eco-friendly boat hire company, GoBoat UK, has announced its “Community Cruises” initiative is returning this Autumn to offer groups of people with disabilities some respite from social issues and the rising cost of living with free boating experiences at all four of its UK locations.
Pan-disability charity Scope estimates that the average extra costs of a disability amounts to £583 a month per person, and one in five disabled people may face additional costs of up to £1,000 per month, even after factoring in disability benefits. These extra costs can include the need for assistive technology, regular support with social care, domestic tasks, as well as the costs of specialist activities and the cost of a companion/carer.
With that in mind, every Tuesday for the rest of the season, GoBoat will provide free boat trips to community groups or charities on their local water space. The aim is to reach out to those who have been most affected by social issues such as quarantine and the rising cost of living to offer them the unique and enriching GoBoat experience free of charge.
Backed by research from the Canal & River Trust which proves that being by water leaves people feeling happier and healthier, GoBoat’s ‘Community Cruises’ aim to help improve the mental wellbeing of visitors during this difficult time.
Guests can enjoy a one-hour trip on an electric GoBoat, seated around a central table to foster a social and supportive environment. With a top speed of 3.5 knots (4mph) this leisurely experience will help create a sense of wellness and inclusivity.
One charity that has already signed up to the initiative is the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), working to remove barriers for more than two million people living with sight loss.
Nanjiba Misbah, RNIB’s Community Connections Co-ordinator for London and the South East said:
“For blind and partially sighted people, the cost of travel can make accessing opportunities to spend time in nature more difficult, so RNIB is pleased to be working with GoBoat again to offer free one hour boat rides in Kingston for members of the community. It’s a much-needed chance to connect with others and experience a slower pace of life on the water.
“We hope that this initiative will help those within our community take time out to enjoy a memorable experience onboard with GoBoat.”
The programme is open to all displaced communities affected by social issues and the rising cost of living. Another community set to utilise the programme is the Empowering Deaf Society, a charity run by the deaf, for the deaf and GoBoat will put on interpreted, verbal tours for the deaf communities.
Community Cruises will be available at all four of GoBoat’s UK locations; Paddington, Canary Wharf and now Kingston upon Thames and Brindleyplace in Birmingham.
Grant Sweeney, co-founder of GoBoat, said: “Our mission at GoBoat has always been about helping more people get onto the UK’s amazing waterways. Working with charities and community groups in areas local to our sites means that we can deliver our unique experience to those who might otherwise be unable to try it for themselves.
We have already had some fantastic trips out on the water with groups from charities such as RNIB and Tear Fund, so we are really pleased to be able to expand the operation to Birmingham and Kingston this season.”
If you’re a member of a charity or community group and would like to take part in GoBoat’s ‘Community Cruises’ scheme, please visit: www.goboat.co.uk to apply.