Become a volunteer crew 
Organise a fund-raising event
Hold a raffle
Sell tickets for raffles and events
Include Canal Boats for the Disabled in your will
Make a gift in memory of a loved one
Make out a Deed of Covenant for a fixed sum every year
Start or join a fund raising group in your street, village town or place of work
Encourage your employer to set up a payroll giving scheme
Make a straight donation

Tell your friends, neighbours and colleagues about the appeal

A day in the life of a skipper and his mate

"Phil's on the phone", I shout to Colin who is stretched out in front of the TV, eagerly anticipating a few days of watching the USPGA Golf, "can we do the boat tomorrow?"  What a dilemma - watching the telly or a day out on a narrow boat!  The forecast is good for a change and the morning looks promising but experience tells us that it's best to take waterproofs, umbrellas and non-slip shoes.  With our butties prepared and the flask filled we head off early for Trevor Basin, as we have to be on the boat at least half an hour before our passengers arrive to make sure everything is in working order.  Today we are taking a group of elderly ladies and gentlemen from a nursing home for their annual excursion on our day-trip boat Glas y Dorlan.  We must make sure all goes well for their special day.  Colin checks the engine, the oil etc and I check the toilet and the basin, put out clean towels as required, turn on the gas and ensure we have enough water for the trip.  The boat holds 30 gallons but it's surprising how quickly it's used up, with all the cups of tea consumed and the ensuing toilet flushings!

It's a beautiful day and our passengers arrive on time, all nine dressed in their Sunday best with their three carers bringing the picnic lunch.  We spend some time getting them on board as some are infirm or in wheelchairs but our special ramp and hydraulic lift ensures a smooth operation.  Soon everyone is settled in and the kettle is on.  After discussing health and safety and where to go, Colin, the skipper, and I, the skipper's mate, must now leave our passengers, cast off and take Glassy (our nickname for the boat) over the Pontcysyllte aqueduct.  It's mid-week and relatively quiet so we have a clear run and can cross easily.  Crossing the aqueduct is always exciting and today the sunshine enhances the stunning view, from the river Dee tumbling below us, to the Berwyn Hills in the distance. 

It's midday and I go to check on our passengers - the chairs are out on the deck and they're enjoying a lovely lunch including a little glass of wine!  Everyone seems very happy.  We're given tasty sandwiches and cake but sadly have to decline the offer of a glass of wine.  Can't have the crew falling asleep.  A canal boat cannot turn round just anywhere and we get to a winding hole (turning area) just beyond Chirk Marina, where Colin carefully manoevres the 65-foot boat round for the return journey.  We arrive back at Trevor Basin by 3 o'clock and our tired but happy group disembark having enjoyed their trip - a few hours out in the fresh air and welcome change from their everyday surroundings.  Just need to tidy up and make sure everything is ok for the following day before we go.  Us?  We had a great day.  We spent a whole day out in glorious countryside and, no, we didn't need the umbrellas.  Who needs television!!

Mary Burman