Charity supporting disadvantaged and disabled people get on the water gets major improvement
- Credit: Nancy Oldfield Trust
A charity helping disabled and disadvantaged visitors to explore the beauty of Norfolk's Broads and coast have made a major improvement to their facilities.
The Nancy Oldfield Trust provides sailing, canoeing and motor boating activities for individuals who may otherwise struggle to get out on the water.
The trust has now installed a new slipway at the charity's Neatishead base, will improve access to its fleet of boats, as well as help with their maintenance.
Stephen Bradnock, the centre manager for the Trust said: 'Our replacement slipway has been in the planning for the last two years, during which time we have modified and refined our plans to create a simple yet effective design.
'The wide new slipway, which is being built by Martin, Neil and Ben from Amis Piling and Dredging, will greatly improve the ease access for our visitors to our fleet of rafted canoes and open motor boats.'
Innovative features include timber facing to the concrete slipway which is designed to be easily removed and replaced when it comes to the end of its life, in 25 years or so.
It also includes a 'washdown' pad with an integral sump and pump, to collect the pressure washings from the Trust's fleet of 10 yachts when they are hauled out up the new slipway each November for their winter maintenance.
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This will ensure the washing down of the boats is as environmentally friendly as possible.
The slipway project is the last major upgrade in a series of planned improvements to the Trust's centre, its self-catering bungalow and its grounds.
It has been made possible by a number of generous grants, an unexpected but significant legacy from a local man, who included the Trust in his will, and money earmarked in earlier years for the project.
One result of the improvements, carried out over the last four years, is that the Trust is now able to offer visitors accommodation throughout the year – rather than just over the –summer - with easy access to the different types of boating activities we offer on Barton Broad.
It is now trying to encourage greater use of its facilities during the winter months, by promoting its accommodation as an ideal location for groups involved in activities such as birdwatching, walking, and cycling, as well as boating.
The Trust was established in the 1980s by Richard Kenyon and is named after his parents, Nancy and Oldfield.
To find out more about the Trust, visit www.nancyolfieldtrust.org.uk