Besides DreamstoreUK there are a lot of other great charities working hard to improve accessibility and engagement for anglers whether new or more experienced. From time to time Update will focus on one to help raise the profile of the great work being undertaken around the UK.
Putting wheelchair accessible boats onto fishing waters has been the principle goal of one organisation for over 30 years.
The Wheelyboat Trust has launched nearly 200 boats of various types across the UK since it started in 1984. While the range of boats offered has widened – there is now a range of boats to suit all types of waters – the Trust has always focused on its single most important role of fundraising to support individual Wheelyboat projects.
Andy Beadsley of Wheelyboat Trust says:
“Wheelyboats are unique and expensive items of equipment that are built to order. Raising funds to discount their cost has been our policy from the outset and helps ensure that Wheelyboat supply and availability for the benefit of disabled people is maximised across the UK.”
“Our offer to fisheries wishing to acquire Wheelyboats for public benefit is to raise funds equal to the difference in pricebetween a standard non-accessible Coulam 15 or 16 and the Wheelyboat version, i.e. up to £5,500. If a fishery agrees to buy a standard Coulam 15 or 16 we will upgrade it to the Wheelyboat version free of charge. This is an important strategy in our aim of maximising Wheelyboat availability on fisheries across the UK.”
The Coulam 16 Wheelyboat (C16Wbt) is a purpose-built wheelchair accessible fishing boat, offering roll-on/roll-off boarding via a hydraulic platform that lowers the disabled angler to floor level. The accessible helm enables the boat to be driven safely and independently by disabled anglers giving them the freedom and opportunity to fish on exactly the same terms as anyone else. This enables disabled anglers to access the entire water no matter how inaccessible the banks are or how low the water level is.
The modifications that make C16Wbts so easy for disabled anglers to use are surprisingly discreet and anyone can use them, disabled or not – broadening the commercial value of the Wheelyboat version of a Coulam 16 to any fishery. If any angling organisation is thinking about disability access using a Wheelyboat the Trust provides answers to all the most Frequently Asked Questions.
The most recent Wheelyboat deliveries have been made to Draycote Trout Fishery, Linlithgow Loch (Forth Area Federation of Anglers), Bonnybridge Angling Club, Llyn Brenig and Penderyn Reservoir (Mountain Ash Fly Fishers). And within the next few weeks, Assynt Crofters Trust will be taking delivery of for Loch Drumbeg. More on that can be found in the latest edition of our newsletter, Waterwheels.
If a fishery owner or disabled angler wishes to have more information or wants to assist raising funds for the Trust, contact Andy Beadsley, Director of The Wheelyboat Trust on 01798 342222, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.wheelyboats.org.