Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Over 150 disabled people to stay on a unique canal boat adjacent to Olympic Stadium while visiting the Paralympic Games

The Great Bedwyn-based Bruce Trust which provides holidays for disabled people on the Kennet & Avon Canal is sending one of its boats on an 82-mile canal and river journey to provide accommodation at the Paralympics for disabled visitors from throughout the UK.

The Bruce Trust is dispatching The Diana, one of its four specially-designed, purpose-built, wide-beam canal boats, at 11.30 am on Saturday 18th August from Great Bedwyn Wharf. Among the many dignitaries who will be helping to send off The Diana on her epic, once-in-a-lifetime voyage, will be Christine Crisp, Chair of Wiltshire Council and Edwina Fogg, Mayor of Marlborough and Patron of East Wiltshire Mencap.

During the voyage, various Rotary Clubs along the Kennet & Avon Canal will be crewing the boat and providing day trips to local groups of people with special needs.

The Diana, named in memory of the late Princess of Wales, is scheduled to arrive on her mooring, as near to the Olympic Stadium as security will allow, in time for the Opening Ceremony of the Paralympics on Wednesday 29th August. Bruce Trust volunteers will man her throughout the Games and a wide range of charities for disabled people have been invited to apply for low cost accommodation and entry tickets to the Paralympics. Charges are just £25 per night per person and The Diana can accommodate up to 10 people including carers per night.

Stated Trust founder, David Bruce: “This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only attend the Paralympics but also to stay on one of our special boats in a unique location. The Diana is fully equipped and accessible for disabled visitors and we are only a few minutes wheelchair ride away from the main Olympic Stadium.”

“This is a wonderful opportunity, thanks entirely to the crewing of The Diana by Rotary Club members, to provide day trips to local groups of people with special needs, thereby enabling them to experience cruising along the Kennet & Avon Canal. Sadly, after Reading we are unable to offer day trips to disabled people as there is very little suitable access along the River Thames until we reach our Stratford mooring,” continued David Bruce.

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