“We don’t want to see our boats empty.” Words spoken by Peter Edwards from Heulwen Trust at Shropshire Disability Network on 13th December 2018.
Heulwen Trust charity started in 1985 but it all began in 1975 when the Prince of Wales’ Committee in partnership with The Variety Club of Great Britain, arranged for the apprentices of Cammell Laird to build a 70ft canal boat specially designed to carry disabled children. It is thought to be a world first! It was named HEULWEN, which is Welsh for ‘Sunshine’ and was launched by HRH the Prince of Wales. The scheme was set up to last ten years, after which local people would assume responsibility to continue the good work. Today, it continues to be enthusiastically run by a team of volunteers.
In 1993 Heulwen Trust took delivery of a second 70ft. narrow boat which was launched and named Heulwen II by Prince Charles in May of that year.
In 2008 Heulwen I was more than thirty years old and becoming more and more difficult to maintain. They decided to commission a new boat and took delivery of Heulwen III “Silver Lady” in June 2009 (and said goodbye to Heulwen I having given us 34 years of service). I wonder if any of the Cammell Laird apprentices ever realised how much pleasure their efforts had given to so many.
As Peter told us “We don’t want to see our boats empty.”
So how much does it cost?
Heulwen offers free trips to those who are less abled than others. If you think you fall into any such category, try us to see if we agree with you. We do try to take a broad view of how we can assist. For instance we do think that if a child is less abled, they should be entitled to celebrate a special occasion by asking their friends to join them in a party on one of our boats without charge for the use of the boat. If you want to decorate the boat please leave yourself enough time before the children arrive. We do expect you to provide suitable refreshments , sufficient carers and of course the cake.
When can we go?
During the Summer boats are booked well in advance so the boats are well used. However, from December to Easter the boats lie empty for periods of time.
To find out more about the Disabled Boat Trips click the link below: https://www.heulwentrust.co.uk/disabled-boat-trips.html
To read more about Heulwen Trust click on this link: https://www.heulwentrust.co.uk/index.html
Note: Members, at our December meeting expressed an interest in having a trip on the Heulwen lll. If you were unable to be at that meeting, but would like to join us on a trip, please email Ann our Honorary Secretary, email: [email protected] or call/text 07970 816030 (SDN Secretary)