Previously posted by Ashton Boatman on facebook about booking a stay on Hazel at the Middlewich Folk and Boat Festival – via eBay or Airbnb.
Posted on the Hazel Wellbeing Boat facebook Page
This is an opportunity to work with the Hazel project, which uses a 100-year old wooden boat as a resource, to promote wellbeing in general and provide respite and short escapes for people experiencing mental health difficulties.
Learning boating skills and boatcraft opens up a whole friendly world of other boaters and empowers you to explore Britain’s fantastic network of historic waterways. Being on a boat changes your perspective from the everyday. It’s a slower pace and closer to the outdoors.
Crew might be steering the boat, paying attention to the engine, welcoming people on board, giving instructions to passengers or telling them about the canal, tying up, loading and casting off and calmly carrying out emergency procedures, if they are ever needed.
The Skipper is in overall charge, so they need to understand how to do all these things and coordinate the rest of crew to make sure they are done safely. The Skipper also needs to take care of the passengers, who may have a range of support needs. A vital part of this role is taking care of the boats and keeping them in good condition, so you need to be willing to stay and tidy up at the end of a trip.
Volunteers take trips on Hazel, a restored historic narrowboat, stopping along the way to collect donations from the local community. These are either recycled or sold in our charity shop. You will be helping keep our charity afloat (ahem), allowing us to continue conserving heritage and working with people with poor mental health. You will also be contributing to a recycling initiative, all whilst reconnecting with the outdoors.
You also need attention to detail, awareness of surroundings, understanding of hazards, communication and listening,and working with people. The role requires moderate physical fitness and the ability to keep balance and move about in small spaces and around the boat.
Experience of mental health issues is desirable but not essential; however an inclusive attitude is a must.
The most important quality we need in crew and skipper is reliability, as without them the boat cannot operate!
Find other voluntary roles at the WCBS: Do-it.org search.
For Hazel, the wellbeing boat.
Manage Hazel’s bookings, arranging cleaning between trips, meeting the customers, being a contact point for them during their stay, etc.
We are looking for someone who can manage the bookings for our canal boat, Hazel. We need some one who with a polite and friendly telephone manner that can deal with any enquiries we receive about the boat and booking of the boat.
Find other voluntary roles at the WCBS: Do-it.org search.
Our Hazel crew member, Tony Hewitson writes about this trip………….
I have been wrangling the crew for a few months now, but this was logistically the most difficult by far and I thank everyone who helped over the 7 days.
We started early on Wednesday, preparing Forget-Me-Not and Hazel, the first job was to shaft Hazel to Portland Marina to pump out the black water tank. So on top of Hazel with the shaft in hand I started moving her over toward the aqueduct, not realising that Aaron was pulling me round with the line. The shaft got trapped under the boat and I had 2 choices, hold on and end up like a dyke jumper or let it go and fish it out of the cut. I quickly retrieved the shaft much to the amusement of the guys from Still Waters.
Chris had tried to sell space on Hazel for the trip but without success, so at the last minute 2 guys from Greystones called Grant and Chris joined us staying until Friday,
Once we had finished at the Marina we joined up with Forget-Me-Not and we started to head up the Peak Forest Canal, The crew for that day were Chris, Joan Wainwright, Aaron Booth, Phil Hanscomb, Andy Smith and myself. We moored up at Marple Aqueduct. Andy, Joan, Chris and myself stayed on the boats, whilst Aaron cycled home.
The second day was through The Marple Flight and we had a lot of help, thankfully as this is never an easy exercise. We were joined by Aaron cycling from Ashton. George Hewitt a CC who was moored near Hyde Bank Tunnel, Mick Owen with Gary and Kath Bailey, Hazel Mayow who brought Neil Morley who stayed with us until Monday. And not forgetting Tom Blackburn who worked lock side and by his own admission was completely shattered by the end of the day. His sterling work helped Joan and I get Forget-Me-Not through with only one small stem up. He did work really hard. We moored the boats just past the start of the Macclesfield Canal for the night. At this point I had to leave the boats and cycled back home as I had an appointment on Friday. Aaron also cycled back and returned on the Friday
After checking the boats at Portland Basin I cycled up the canal rejoining them at Bollington, Just had time to say hello to Chris when he headed back to Ashton and said goodbye to our guests from Greystones, Aaron set off again back home, that boy is fit! Leaving Joan, Neil and myself on the boats. We had a really lovely evening and I recruited Neil to the Hazel crew.
Next day, Chris arrived with the van and Aaron arrived, as always, by bike, we set up some tables and put out the leaflets, signs and Anne Riley’s artwork. I again donned the Victorian boaters garb, I also ran a slide show of the pictures of the Hazel restoration on my laptop. There were lot of people walking dogs and Aaron had the brilliant idea of putting some water out for the many dogs that were being walked. Chris and Joan showed people around the boat I mostly sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful weather and sold some most of Anne’s artwork with 2 of the items heading to Madeira. We even showed a lady who was visiting from The Falklands around the boat. Barry came with his brother to show him the boats.
The new pictures of the restoration on the side of the boat brought over a lot of people, when steering the butty you can see people stop and look at them as you go by.
Later in the evening we were joined by Maxine Bailey who stayed for the rest of the trip. We said goodbye to Aaron who again cycled back to Ashton.
We were surprised on the Sunday morning when all the other historic boats began to leave, We had believed it was a 2 day event but I was only the Saturday. We didn’t care I dressed up and we set up our stalls and again we showed people around the boat.
In the afternoon we were joined by Christine Roberts and Lesley Smith
At the end of the day Chris took Joan home and Neil, Maxine and I enjoyed a chilled evening on the boat. Over the weekend we took around £90.00 selling almost all of Anne’s work and hopefully made some good connections.
On the Monday we headed a little way along the Macclesfield Canal to wind in a very silted winding hole, with the engine cooling intermittently working. and headed back to Marple with Chris, Neil, Maxine and myself crewing, I had to head back home in the evening having a rather scary ride home down the towpath in the dark. We also said goodbye to Neil. I caught them up the next afternoon just after Forget-Me-Not had got down the Marple flight, There was a lady from Towpath Talk taking photos for an article she had been interviewing Chris for, we were joined by Hazel and George to help through the locks.
With Chris, Maxine and myself on board we moored once again at Marple Viaduct and prepared for a wellbeing trip with Macclesfield Mind the following day, but that’s another story.
I would like to thank everyone who in anyway helped make this trip an unforgettable experience and if I have forgot anyone I do apologise. And of course there are volunteers that work mostly at either The Heritage Boat Yard and Portland Basin such as Clare and Barry.
Thanks to a crew volunteer, Tony Hewitson, for putting together the story of Hazel in this video.
To promote the Society and show off Hazel she has been taken to a couple of fairly local festivals this summer, with fare-paying customers on board where-ever possible to defer costs and boost the coffers for trips for folk who have the need but not the cash. Here she is, with her necessary companion motor-boat Forgetmenot, at Bollington with Chris on the towpath talking to folk attending.
If you’re interested in making a trip on her – maybe, like the people yesterday, to celebrate a birthday or other occasion or just because – then do contact Anne-Louise Black at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org .
We are now well into the first year of Hazel being in service as a well-being boat around Tameside.
This has brought us lots more work and, therefore, some opportunities. We shall soon be needing a part-time, paid, Community Boat Co-ordinator and we also need volunteer help with all the administrative work in the Society.
For volunteers who are able to help with administrative tasks we need people who have knowledge of spreadsheet maintenance to maintain our membership and sponsorship details plus who would also be able to help with the production of our regular newsletter to these people.
The paid position is as a COMMUNITY BOAT CO-ORDINATOR. An exciting role which has become available due to the success of the Lottery funded HAZEL PROJECT. The Project Manager worked within the funding to set up Hazel as a Well-being boat within Tameside and we now need a co-ordinator to carry on that work, liaising with the management team and our volunteers, to carry on Hazel’s work. DOWNLOAD DETAILS AND THE APPLICATION FORM HERE………Community Boat Co-ordinator_person specification Community Boat Co-ordinator_job description
The Wooden Canal Boat Society have 6 heritage wooden canal boats based at Portland Basin. All of them are over 100 years old and were used in various places around the country during the canal system’s industrial heyday. Normally, due to volunteers working on the boats, we cannot allow public access.
We have rescued these and restored them, to differing degrees, for use in the community.
Our pride of the fleet is Hazel who has been completely restored and is now working as Tameside’s well-being boat for those suffering poor mental health. You will be able to see her in her modern state.
You will be able to see the back cabin on Forgetmenot as it would have been with a family living on her while she worked the canals.
You will be able to talk with our volunteers about the boats, their industrial past and their current work in the community.
Suitable for all ages as long as children are accompanied. Disabled access available on Hazel.
Brown road signs are all around the area directing traffic to Portland Basin Museum. The canal is behind the museum and can be accessed separately. By bus, the 330 bus, Stockport to Ashton, stops opposite Asda and there is a small footpath leading down to the canal (not signposted but the only footpath) From Ashton town centre on foot, go along to Lidl, cross the road and follow the sign posts or find the footpath as above.
Anne Louise Black