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Narrow-boating with The Baldwin Trust

Local residents, Richard Jayes and Donald Flagg, are members of The Baldwin Trust a local charity run by approximately forty keen unpaid volunteers .The Trust offers canal and river trips to various groups of people in the local communities; Barrow based organisations such as the Bishop Beveridge Club and members of the Baptist Church are regular users.

At the Barrow Street Market held in July a further twelve local people also applied to become volunteers for the Trust. The Trust operates two, 70ft long narrow-boats, one berthed at Pillings Lock Marina and the other at Leicester Marina near Thur-maston.

The most popular length of trip is 4 hours, but this can be modified as required. Groups of up-to 12 people can be accommodated, and the 4 hour trip costs just £100 ( or under £8.50 per head).

A popular four hour trip is to leave Pillings Marina heading towards Barrow, taking in the sights of the countryside and railway arches and sailing under the bridges into Barrow Deep Lock. Then the various waterside gardens can be viewed as we sail in the direction of Mountsorrel and Sileby.

The Trust was originally formed to help the patients of the Baldwin Ward at Leices-ter Frith Hospital. The hospital treated patients with learning and mental health problems. The Trust provided a narrow boat for outings. This aim is now extended to include community, care and family groups and gives an enjoyable day out spent in a tranquille waterside environment.

Our boats have been modified to be very "user friendly". Both are fitted with ramps and electrically operated lifts to make boarding as easy as possible for wheelchair users and those with mobility problems.

The boats are fully fitted-out with a toilet, heating and cooking facilities and many users bring a picnic to enjoy at their leisure. The Trust runs trips during the spring, summer and autumn, and also offers popular, shorter, Santa-trips near to Christ-mas.

We are currently fundraising for a replacement boat and are always most grateful for any donations. For further details and enquiries relating to either our trips or do-nations please contact Ellen on 07923 817 718, or visit our website at- www.baldwintrust.co.uk or follow us on Facebook.

Richard Jayes