A CHARITY in Wallingford which offers free boat rides for disabled and elderly people could be doubling its trips this summer.

The Wallingford Accessible Boat Club, founded by John Jenkins MBE, hopes to increase the rides from four per week up to two per day.

A second boat may be considered if this season’s trips are successful. The charity currently uses one Wheelyboat, which is a purpose-built, flat-bottomed craft with a drop-down bow which enables easy access for wheelchair users.

It is hoped the trips will be increased three months into the season which starts next month.

Chair of the charity’s trustees, Mr Jenkins, said: “We have worked very hard over the winter period to enable us to increase our trip capacity for this year. 

“We have just concluded a very successful recruitment drive and now their training is underway and we are very grateful to Oxford Sailing Club for their support with this.”

Herald Series: The charity could consider a second boat if this season is successful.The charity could consider a second boat if this season is successful.

The charity now has about 40 to 45 volunteers including trustees, base staff and administration staff. A new online booking system has also been completed.

Mr Jenkins added: “We are all very excited about the forthcoming season.  All members of our volunteer team are great lovers of the river which makes for a relaxed, happy atmosphere amongst our crews. 

“This all adds to the client experience we are aiming for – to enable the disabled and less mobile people in our area to gain maximum pleasure from their boating experience.”

To book a trip, visit www.wabc.org.uk or email enquiries@wabc.org.uk

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