Free boat trips scheme for community groups to return

Free boat trips scheme for community groups to return
Nanjiba Misbah, centre, and other members of the RNIB on a boat trip (RNIB/GoBoat/PA)

Free community cruises for vulnerable communities are set to return for a second year to allow people to “experience a slower pace of life on the water” and “connect with others”.

Eco-friendly boat hire company GoBoat UK, which previously launched the scheme last year, is set to carry it out again this autumn.

Man talking to group of peopleMembers of RNIB taking part in GoBoat’s community cruises (GoBoat/RNIB/PA)

Every Tuesday from September 27 until the end of October the company will provide free one-hour boat trips to community groups and charities on its local water space across four locations – Paddington, Canary Wharf, Kingston upon Thames and Brindleyplace in Birmingham, which includes those affected by social issues such as the cost-of-living crisis.

Nanjiba Misbah, community connections co-ordinator for London and the South East at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) – a charity which benefited from the scheme last year – said that the initiative will help “those within our community take time out to enjoy a memorable experience”.

She added: “For blind and partially sighted people, the cost of travel can make accessing opportunities to spend time in nature more difficult, so RNIB is pleased to be working with GoBoat again to offer free one-hour boat rides in Kingston for members of the community. It’s a much-needed chance to connect with others and experience a slower pace of life on the water.”

Man helping woman into boatGoBoat is offering free community cruises to vulnerable communities (RNIB/GoBoat/PA)

Grant Sweeney, the co-founder of GoBoat, said the company is “really pleased to be able to expand the operation to Birmingham and Kingston this year” and build upon its ethos of “helping more people on to the UK’s amazing waterways”.

Another charity set to take part in the cruises is the Empowering Deaf Society, which will be able to enjoy being on the water thanks to interpreted, verbal tours organised by the boat hiring group.

More information about the cruises can be found on the company’s website at

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