A new Waterways Hardship Fund has been set up to help boat dwellers who due to health or social problems find themselves unable to cope through the cold weather.
The CRT estimates that some 7,000 boats on its waters are currently used as homes with a small, but apparently growing, proportion of their owners suffering from physical or mental health problems, alcohol or drug addiction, or other difficulties which make them more likely to come to the attention of enforcement officers for breaches of licensing rules. These cases are often complex and benefit from support from relevant organisations such as councils, social services and other agencies.
As part of a range of initiatives to better help boaters in difficulty C&RT signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Workplace Matters (WM) back in June. Workplace Matters is an ecumenical charity which takes Christian values into the workplace.
Operating mainly in the South East, the Waterways Chaplaincy, part of WM, offers help regardless of faith or gender to those in need. With colder weather starting to take grip WM has launched a Waterways Hardship fund for boaters. So if you’ve been given a winter fuel allowance that you would like to use to help boaters who find themselves facing hardship this winter, there’s a quick and easy way to do it. Just visit the dedicated JustGiving webpage to help those in need.
Your donation will help other boaters in a variety of ways:
- £10 will buy a warm coat or pair of warm boots for an elderly person
- £15 can get a bag of solid fuel
- £25 could supply a replacement gas bottle for a couple who just had a baby living on an inadequately heated boat
- £40 can cover a call out fee to repair restore heating for an elderly boater with arthritis
- £140 will buy a one month emergency winter mooring (17m boat) for a boater in need
- A very generous £300 donation can recondition a multi-fuel stove for a terminally ill gentleman.
Any size donation will be very gratefully received via the JustGiving webpage. If you are a UK taxpayer, please make sure you confirm that you would like to reclaim Gift Aid on your donation. This will add 25p to every £1 you give.