Wallingford Accessible Boat Club fundraising appeal success

Major donations and great public support continue to boost charity appeal funds – now over the halfway line and heading towards £65,000

The Wallingford Accessible Boat Club (WABC) is announcing great success in its fundraising appeal for £65,000 to establish the Club and procure a wheelyboat which will enable disabled people from Wallingford and wider Oxfordshire, as well as nearby Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, to get out and about on the River Thames on the Wallingford stretch.

Having only launched the Appeal at the end of last July, WABC have now passed the halfway mark and can see their £65,000 target well and truly in sight.

John Jenkins MBE, Chairman of Trustees, commented:  “We are all truly delighted at the tremendous public support we have received for the prospect of a disabled-friendly wheelyboat on our lovely stretch of the River Thames here at Wallingford.  It has been magnificent and, thankfully, reflected in the rapid accumulation of funds required to get the WABC facility off the ground.  We have received donations from grant-making charitable trusts, both local and  national, some special friends of WABC who have very generously supported us, and of course the general public via our website, www.wabc.org.uk, for all of which we are so very grateful”.

The Wallingford Accessible Boat Club is a voluntary, community organisation where able-bodied and disabled folk are encouraged to get involved.  The project will be enabled by a wheelchair-accessible powerboat, the Coulam Wheelyboat V20, which has been proven on other waterways around the UK, notably the one on the Thames run by the Bisham Accessible Boat Club near Marlow.  The Wheelyboat offers a drop-down bow facility that enables wheelchair users to simply roll on to the flat bottom of the boat. The objective is to enable disabled people the opportunity to participate independently in river-borne experiences, such as picnicking, fishing and boating on the Wallingford stretch of the Thames.

Jenkins concluded: “We only launched our Appeal at the end of last July and have already received over £33,000 so we’re over halfway there.  We are now asking for all our friends and supporters to help us with one last big push to get us over the line.  Our website at www.wabc.org.uk makes a donation so very easy.  We plan to formally open our Club for live operations in July and with, a fair wind and continued public support, I can see us getting disabled folk out on the river this summer.  What a coup for Wallingford that would be!”

See attached photographs:

201507079 – the Wheelyboat in action

201508277 – the Wheelyboat ready for loading

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