Local Support for Hazel Well-being trips

Two of our Society, Phil Handscomb and Daniel Cocker, were recently invited to an evening with Tameside Rotary Club, where their president, Andy Williams, presented them with a £200 cheque.

This generous donation will help fund a trip for those with poor mental health who will benefit from the well-being properties of time on the canal. Often those people, and the Societies who help them, do not have the necessary funds for the very help they need.

Many thanks from us all.

See more of what Tameside Rotary club do here:  http://www.tamesiderotaryclub.com/.

Historic Narrowboat Skipper & Crew – Volunteers Wanted

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.

Membership application form or Online application form (needs printing)

Contact Us

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Canal Boat Bookings Co-ordinator

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.

Membership application form or Online application form (needs printing)

Contact Us

Your message was successfully sent. Thank You!

Showing off Hazel and promoting her and the Society

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 annelouise.wcbs@gmail.com or general@wcbs.org.uk . chris-talking-to-folk-with-boats

New opportunities with us

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

 

HOW WE STARTED: a potted history of the society

In 1974 Chris Leah was a student at Chester College, living on boats to save money. He bought a full length wooden narrow boat called “Lilith” for one hundred pounds. The boat needed repairs and Chris set about doing them. Before long Chris had acquired a second boat “Sarah”, later renamed “Forget me Not”. In May 1987 the Wooden Canal Craft Trust was formed. Initially this was a small group of friends who wanted to build a future for “Lilith” and “Sarah”.

The 1989 British Waterways Bill threatened to introduce new regulations that would make the work of the Wooden Canal Craft Trust virtually impossible and force most owners of historic wooden craft to destroy them.

The Trust petitioned against it and their case was put at the Lords Committee stage and several witnesses called. 

This, and negotiations over the next two years, resulted in substantial changes in the legislation together with the beginnings of a recognition of the importance of the floating heritage by British Waterways.By the Spring of 1995 The Wooden Canal Craft Trust owned six boats, Elton, Forget Me Not, Hazel, Lilith, Southam and Queen. Over the next couple of years the Trust changed and eventually was wound up with its assets going to the new charity we have today and our first boat had moved to the Portland Basin Museum. In 1999 Tameside Council provided a much-needed boatyard site at Knowl St in Stalybridge and there the first major renovation was started – on Hazel – resulting in the modern well-being boat that we now have.

NEXT STEPS

Now that Hazel is in action as Tameside’s Well-Being boat we have to think about the next steps. Every visit to Portland Basin smacks us in the eye of course as there are 5 more historic wooden canal boats sitting there all needing more attention ! Currently the trustees are having meetings regarding our vision for these – some are already in a decent enough state to be used for community projects like our monthly recycling trips for instance. These bring in lots of donations for us of course but they also provide respite trips for folk who would not normally get out into the peace and quiet of the canal system. If you are on Facebook have a look at Pauline Town’s posts about ‘Team Station’. She runs the Station pub in Ashton and many of her regulars are folk who regard the place as part of their family and know they can always find any needed help there.on the boatFor the past few months Pauline and Team Station have more or less taken over the Tuesday evening recycling trips; great for us and wonderful for them – being useful and in surroundings totally different to the town where they live their daily lives.

Another place where action is very necessary is at our Heritage Boatyard on Knowl Street, Stalybridge. This was a hive of activity as the hub where Hazel spent her restorative years. Now beaurocracy is stepping in and we really have to sort it out to comply with planning regulations before taking our next project boat there.  

Plus, at the beginning, one of our volunteers created a garden for us between the outside wall and the pavement.outside garden Unfortunately that got a tad neglected during work on Hazel so that and an area just inside the gate is currently being worked on. Again – more beaurocracy – an out of work volunteer is happy to do the work but she is being stopped as evidently doing that doesn’t give her enough time to job search to the current regulations. Despite it giving her pleasure and fulfillment while unemployed.

 

AGM REMINDER

Please don’t forget our Annual General Meeting this coming Sunday, April 24th in the shop at 173 Stamford Street, Ashton under Lyne OL6 7PS.

We need more members to support our work going forward with Hazel now fully operative as Tameside’s only wooden Well-Being boat. Especially a treasurer to work with our new online banking and QuickBooks – training given.

Also general help and folk who can come to monthly Council of Management meetings with a possibility of becoming a Trustee after a period of getting to know each other.

We’ve still got 5 old boats needing care and attention so even if you can only spare small amounts of time on these, do contact us.

Please leave a comment on this post with any questions. THANK YOU – see you on Sunday.

Hazel’s Service Launch

Another proud moment for the Society and all her volunteers, past and present.

Hazel is now well and truly Tameside’s Well-Being boat after being launched on her way by the Mayor of Tameside – seen below cutting the ribbon, with Ashton Boatman (aka Chris Leah) and the Mayor’s wife and mother. After the ceremony they and others went on a short trip down to near Droylsden and back, enjoying lunch on board. Mayor cuts the ribbon

The Mayor was proud to officiate especially as he had been on the committee that gave us a grant, via New Charter’s Great Neighbourhoods scheme.

You too can help Hazel on her journey; most of the folk who will benefit from her, having poor mental health, usually need funding especially for trips like the ones we offer plus, of course, Hazel will have to be kept in tip-top condition for these trips. BECOME A SPONSOR – celebrate a special day every year for just £28 p.a. and help Hazel give those less fortunate a special day on the canals. Download and complete the form below (and let us know if you can offer Gift Aid). Send, together with your cheque, to the treasurer c/o The Wooden Canal Boat Society, 173 Stamford St, Ashton under Lyne, OL6 7PS. Thank you !  If you’ve any queries, just comment on this post or email general@wcbs.org.uk.

Hazelsponsorform