2018 was no exception as the Box Moor Trust again gave awards of up to £2,500 each to twelve charities and community groups in their area of benefit (the majority of Hemel Hempstead and Bovingdon).
Among the twelve was our Member, Waterways Experiences, a charity that promotes well-being by providing affordable canal boat trips, particularly for the disadvantaged. The Box Moor Trust’s £2,500 grant went towards the cost of a new boat engine which totalled approximately £6,850.
Both charities were already working in collaboration to provide boat trips for schools in the area. These formed part of the Box Moor Trust’s nature days where children spend half a day immersed in nature and wildlife at Gadespring Cressbeds, and half a day on the canal boat.
Box Moor Trust Chairman David Kirk said that connecting children with nature is a prime objective of the Trust and has been for over twenty years. It is now becoming recognised as a priority in the UK too.
“We want to encourage young people to be the future guardians of our precious local greenspace,” he explained. “As well as having lots of fun, the children learnt about wildlife and nature, which form part of their science and maths curriculum. The volunteers from Waterways Experience were wonderful with the children and even let them help with locks and steering the boat.”
Sally Ash, Waterways Experiences Trustee said, “Last year, our three wide-beam canal boats took 500 groups of between 8 and 40 needy people for day trips. We also ran seven residential boating holidays for groups of young carers and severely disabled teenagers. Feedback has been wonderful and it gives us great pleasure to know we are able to help so many people to enjoy their boating experiences with us.
Two of our ageing boat engines needed replacement and receiving a significant contribution to one of them from the Box Moor Trust was greatly appreciated.”
Both charities plan to further strengthen their relationship in 2019 and look forward to working together to support the local community.
To find out more about Waterways Experience click here.