The Bishop of Gloucester, the Rt Revd Rachel Treweek spent some time with the Willow Trust on Monday, a charity which takes disabled and seriously ill people for canal boat trips.
She joined groups of people from Gloucester, Chipping Campden and Tewkesbury for a gentle cruise from Saul Junction on a sunny afternoon.
The Willow Trust takes 7,000 guests and carers out on its boats each year, at no charge.
Skipper Keith Busby (Buzz) is a former member of the Royal Engineer Yacht Club and invites guests to have a go at steering the boat.
Buzz said, “It’s a fantastic thing to do and I love getting people out on the water, particularly those that wouldn’t usually have the chance.
Phoebe Johnson and her carer Becky Price were two of the guests on the boat. Becky said, “Phoebe has been up and driven the boat today and she loved it. It’s not very often that we are able to take all of the residents of our supported accommodation out at the same time, so this is a really valuable experience for us.”
Trust Administrator Liz Rowland has been involved with the charity since the beginning. She said, “Our aim is to give all our guests a really special day and we have some amazing people looking after our wonderful guests. Every time I come onto the boat, it lifts me. The Willow Trust is loved by so many people.”
Bishop Rachel said, “The work of the Willow Trust is tremendously important in providing a sense of freedom to people who may have some limitations on their access to new experiences. Steering the boat with Cecil Hunt was a particular highlight for me and it was wonderful to see the volunteers and staff enjoying the company of the guests on the boat.”
See more pictures of the day on our Facebook album.