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27 October 2017

Supporting Waterways Chaplaincy

We are delighted to announce our support for Waterways Chaplaincy in their bid to receive funding from Aviva’s Community Fund.

The newspaper headlines are often full of stories of the homeless on our streets, but rarely do you hear about the vulnerable and marginalised who use our 2,000 miles of inland waterways and canals.

Waterways Chaplaincy’s vision is to be “a catalyst in the waterways communities to bring about short and long-term transformation in people’s lives”. Many people are living on the waterways because it’s cheaper, they have low or no income, they have mental health issues, family breakdown or they’ve moved for a less stressful way of living.

Their personal problems are compounded, because many have no permanent address and only have continuous cruiser licenses. This means that simple activities like visiting the doctor, using foodbanks, obtaining benefits and even visiting family becomes a challenge. Without the normal framework of local community and support services, people living on the waterways often fall through the gaps.

Their needs are then in danger of becoming more complex, costing more to local services and impacting on their well being. Without support, in some cases they become suicidal. Having Waterways Chaplains patrolling the canal banks, means that problems can be picked up before they escalate.

Waterways Chaplaincy plays a vital role in reaching out to these people and helping them get back on their feet. You can find out more about their work and vote for them to receive funding here.

They currently only have one part time Chaplain for the waterways and the other 40+ Chaplains are volunteers who give up of their time to help. They do amazing work and make a real difference in the lives of those boaters who are in need. If Waterways Chaplaincy are successful in winning one of these grants, then it would enable them to recruit, train and equip another 35 volunteers, meaning they can expand their reach to around 4,500 people a year.

Please join us in supporting this incredible work.  

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