On 11th May five members of the East Midlands Chapter of the Widows Sons (J. Perridge, R. Wheelhouse, J. Long, M, Gant, & C. Brink) along with Bad Penny T. Brink, rode to the Peter Le Marchant Trust in Loughborough to present a cheque for £200.
For over forty years the Trust has provided day outings and holidays on waterways for people of all ages with any kind of disability or serious illness. Tim Marren (CEO) and a number of the volunteer crew made us feel very welcome, they were preparing one of their boats for a group from Northampton who suffer with cerebral palsy. The itinerary was a day trip along the River Soar with a stop off at the Plough public house in Normanton on Soar for lunch; the 'passengers' were charged a nominal £10 per head, which barely covers the cost of the unlimited complementary tea and biscuits.
Tim explained that the annual running costs of the trust are in excess of £120,000 for which they are dependent on charitable donations and with a team of 120 volunteers, it takes a full year to train a person to the level to skipper the boat. The Trust have 3 boats, a day boat, a holiday boat (available for 4 nights holidays for 10 persons) and a weekly hire boat for a family with a disabled person or seriously ill member.
The Trust has started looking at having a new boat built that will have all the state of the art facilities required for disabled people and one of the main requirements is that it will have fully electric or hybrid engine. On taking our leave, Tim suggested that the Widows Sons return and have a day on the boat, we just might take him up on that!
If you are a Mason and ride a motorbike why not get in touch and find out more on the Widows Sons, and if you were wondering what a Bad Penny is, well that is associate membership for friends, family and partners. We get out on a regular basis, so if you want to know more, or just come along to see what we are about, you can Email Richard Wheelhouse at firstname.lastname@example.org