Volunteer Induction Day

This is on Wednesday 29th November from 10:00 am to 2:00pm on Hazel in Portland Basin OL7 0QA. Normally we have done these for potential crew only but as an experiment this time we are combining it with induction for admin volunteers. 50% should be directly relevant to everyone but hopefully the other 50% will be of background interest to admin volunteers etc as well. If anyone one is interested please contact me at membership@wcbs.org.uk . All crew volunteers are required to attend an induction day if they haven’t done so before. We now have full NCBA accreditation so can award CCC, BHC or CCBM certificates.

Heritage Open Day

See the six rescued and restored heritage canal boats, all over 100 years old, were used commercially, now for community use. Talk to volunteers and step on-board ‘Hazel’ and ‘Forget-me-not’

Friday, Saturday & Sunday 8, 9 & 10th September 2017 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Portland Basin Wharf, Portland Place, Ashton Under Lyne OL7 0QA

This is part of Tamesides “Behind Closed Doors” of their most treasured heritage sites event contribution for the national Heritage Open Day weekend.


Bargain Canal Trip: Ashton to Middlewich

Via Chris Leah.

In June, Wellbeing Boat Hazel will be travelling from Portland Basin, Ashton-under-Lyne, to Middlewich, Cheshire, to take part in the annual Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival.

Hazel will leave Ashton at midday on Sunday 11 June and arrive in Middlewich on Thursday 15 June.

She will be skippered by Chris, the famous Ashton Boatman, and towed by 90 year old wooden motor narrow boat, Forget Me Not. The route taken will be via the Peak Forest, Macclesfield and Trent & Mersey canals. It is a one way trip.

Public transport back to Ashton, if you need to collect a car, is fairly easy. There will be trained crew to deal with navigation of the boats, though you will be welcome to help with steering and lock working if you wish to.

This auction is for the back bedroom aboard Hazel which can be configured as a single, a double, 2 bunks or a double with bunk over. The boat has a 5 star kitchen and a bathroom with wetroom shower and flushing toilet. Wheelchair access is not possible to this bedroom but the lift is useful for accessing the boat if you find steps difficult.

Hazel is here to raise your spirits, come and join us for this wonderful trip.


Crew Induction Day – Wednesday 7 June, 2017

If you are thinking of volunteering as crew, this is a good time to start.

All current trainee crew are required to attend an induction day if they haven’t done so before, it will count towards your CCC (Community Crew Course), BHC (Boat Handling Certificate) or CCBM (Certificate in Community Boat Management) training, when we have full NCBA (National Community Boats Association) accreditation.

If you want to attend but can’t make this date please reply anyway as we may be having another session on a Saturday in July.

RSVP please to atc@wcbs.org.uk (this will forward to Phil, Tony & Claire)


  • 9:00am Registration
  • Volunteer Crew Agreement
  • Volunteer crew training record
  • Volunteer questionnaire
  • Medical form – Sealed (what ambulance services need to know when carting you away)
  • Medical form – Open (what the Skipper needs to know)
  • DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) Form – fill in now or later
  • Photo Consent Form
  • Hand Out Crew Handbook
  • Membership Form (not essential but volunteers are encouraged to be members as well)
  • (anything I’ve forgotten)
  • 10:00am Start
  • Intro to Society
  • Intro to Hazel Project
  • Society’s Expectations of Volunteers
  • Volunteers Expectations of Society (ask!)
  • Vulnerable Adults/Volunteers Policy
  • Equality & Diversity Policy
  • Safeguarding
  • Crew Handbook
  • Guided Tour of Hazel
  • Operating the Wheelchair Lift
  • (anything I’ve forgotten)
  • 2:00pm Finish (canal time – i.e. very approximate time)

The induction will be on Hazel in Portland Basin. Lunch included, please inform us if vegetarian etc.


AGM Reminder and Invitation

If you are interested in our Society or would just like to find out more, we should like to invite you to our AGM which is being held in our shop, 173 Stamford Street Ashton under Lyne at 12 noon on 23rd April so please come along and meet us there. To ensure there will be enough cake, please email general@wcbs.org.uk with numbers.

Anyone can come along, but only paid up members can vote (join on the day). If you would like to be part of our team then please send your name to us before the meeting so we can include it in the voting. To see what opportunities there are please look at the Vacancies page which you can find on the home page of this website, under our photo.

Thank you

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If you’re feeling the love already this year why not celebrate Valentine’s along the peaceful setting of the Ashton canal on board Hazel the Wellbeing boat followed by a lovely meal at the Boundary Inn, Audenshaw.

Saturday 11th & Sunday 12th February 1pm & 4pm and Tuesday 14th February 6pm departure from Portland Basin, Ashton under Lyne

Tickets £20 per person including 2 course meal at the Boundary Inn.

For further details contact Claire on 07860 944969

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An invitation from the Hazel Project

Hello, and seasons greetings.

I’m writing to invite you and your colleagues for a brew and a look round on Hazel, our beautifully restored narrowboat. She’s been accessibly fitted out with the aid of Big Lottery to work as a wellbeing boat, offering respite and adventures for people living with poor mental health. But thats not all she can do! she can be a space for workshops, meetings, creative inspiration…We are very keen to find innovative ways for her to work for the whole community and collaborate with organisations or individuals who can make use of her as a unique – and mobile –  resource. We can bring her anywhere theres a working canal – so Greater Manchester, Cheshire, and up into the Pennines along the Huddersfeild Narrow are all possibilities.

You dont have to have a doctors note to be able to benefit from some time on the canal either – Hazel is availiable for private hire for work socials, family or friends days out, or just some peace and quiet for one or two people. She also has berths to sleep overnight for a longer adventure. if you really get into boating, then there are opprtunities to volunteer aswell and learn how to narrowboat the old fashioned way 🙂

So if any of that sounds like it could be useful to you, either personally or professionally, do come down and have a no pressure look round. And if you can’t make either open day, Claire and I may be able to meet you there another time – just get in touch.

Click here come-and-have-a-look-on-our-lovely-community-boat for more information and contact details