QEF Jubilee Launches on the Grand Union Canal

Thanks to the superb response to our request for support QEF Jubilee, our wheelchair accessible canal boat, has a been overhauled and launched on 15 November on the Grand Union Canal at Hemel Hempstead.

The boat is unique.  Describing it as a narrow boat would be wrong.  It was designed and built, one of the first of its kind, with an extra broad beam to prevent rocking on the water and to allow more space for wheelchairs.  It can cater for up to 8 guests, including three in wheelchairs, allowing groups and families to enjoy the experience.

A lift platform assists wheelchairs on board and the area at the stern can allow wheelchair users to steer the boat if so inclined.

The boat was originally designed and built for QEF in 2002 by the ’72 Club, formed in 1972, whose members are from the Film, TV, Broadcast and associated support industries, and funded by them and the Community Fund.   By 2010 it was in need of a major refit.

QEF Jubilee will join two other canal boats operated by disability charity ReachOut Plus so that its life-changing experience can reach even more young people with disabilities.

Ron Overton, Director of ReachOut Plus, says, “It’s not simply a trip down a canal.  The environment, the boat, the team working, and relationships, the fun, the exercise and the sense of achievement all provide a very real and lasting contribution to a disabled person’s personal development.”

Trustee Malcolm Cockren,  primarily responsible for making it all happen, officially launched QEF Jubilee in fine style with a bottle of bubbly.  QEF CEO Jonathan Powell, thanked all those who so generously contributed and looked forward QEF Jubilee providing to a great experience for all who sail in her.

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