Why this project is so important?

It is now accepted that there’ s a link between psychological/emotional well-being and physical health. It’ s not unusual nowadays for doctors to recommend pursuits such as meditation or light exercise to patients who are either suffering from or recovering from health problems, both physical and mental health related.

This is where Hazel comes in! Travelling on the canals is an extremely relaxing and peaceful experience. It takes the traveller into a different world, where they can forget their usual worries and concerns and can simply ‘ be’ for a while. For those suffering from depression and/or stress related illness boating on the canals is particularly therapeutic. The pace of life is slower on the canals and gives people the time to re-assess things and experience a better and more easy-going reality.
For those well enough to take part in some activity there is light exercise as the narrowboat is worked through locks and lift bridges. There is also learning to steer the boat or sometimes handle a horse and the opportunity to build social skills and work as part of a team. All of these activities increase self-esteem and confidence and give a new sense of hope and optimism.
As one of our volunteers recently said:
“ I was in a dark place before I found the W.C.B.S. and started to spend time on the boats.
For the first time in years I now feel hopeful.”
We plan to rebuild Hazel and put her to use for the benefit of people who need to develop
health, wellness and optimism. A cabin with access for the disabled has been designed and it is expected that when the boat is completed we will work with other agencies to develop the Hazel Project so that as many people as possible can benefit from this exciting and innovative venture!
“Hazel”  Being Towed Hazel_218

You Can Help by becoming a “HAZEL” Sponsor

Once the heritage boatyard is ready for her the Wooden Canal Boat Society will be applying for funding to complete her restoration. However, this will be dependent on us being able to show that we will be able to maintain the boat in the long term. We have estimated that about £10,200 annually will be needed to keep the boat running. This includes saving up for her next rebuild in about 30 years time.
The idea of the sponsorship scheme is to ask individuals, groups or companies to pay to keep “Hazel” running for a minimum period of one day each year. This works out at £28 for a day. Those who are able to contribute more might like to sponsor the boat for a number of days. Sponsorship money will initially go towards the immediate costs of restoring the boat. Once she is up and running it will be used for maintenance costs with any annual surplus being invested to provide for the future needs of the boat. From time to time the Society may negotiate an increase in the sponsorship payments to cope with the effects of inflation.

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