Wroxham & Coltishall

Broads charity showcases new facilities with 30th anniversary Open Day

Just Regional
Jun 9, 2014 4 mins read

A charity which opens up the world of boating to disabled and disadvantaged people is showcasing its new facilities at its 30th anniversary Open Day on Saturday 14th June, 12- 4pm.

The Nancy Oldfield Trust on Irstead Road, Neatishead, has just completed £190,000 worth of improvements to its waterside complex thanks to two unexpected legacies.

A garage used for boat maintenance has been converted into a large classroom and meeting area with kitchen, toilet, extended office accommodation and a lifejacket store.

The ten bed, fully accessible bungalow used for residential visitors has been reorganised and updated to create a new lounge and larger bedrooms all with en suite shower rooms. The kitchen has been modernised to include a hob and sink which lower to wheelchair level next to a large, airy dining area.

Outside, the grounds, parking area and walkway to the dyke have been repaved and the landing stage re-boarded, to provide a smoother surface for wheelchairs. A large new workshop was built two years ago to enable winter maintenance to sailing boats to be carried out on site. The Trust has recently acquired two heavy duty Pioner boats with bow door ramps for wheelchair access and water rescue and support boat duties.

The Trust has a garden maintained by members of the Sprowston Community Hub who have planted herbs and flowers, and whose weekly visits alternate between boating and gardening. The gardening team is in the process of developing and improving the gardens for all the Trust’s visitors.

The Open Day will be offering free motor boat trips, taster sailing sessions on keelboats on beautiful Barton Broad, and the opportunity to canoe on Limekiln Dyke in the Trust’s rafted canoes.  Craft stalls and children’s activities will cater for those who don’t want to go on the water and there will be a chance to view the new accommodation and meet the staff and volunteers.

Nancy Oldfield Trust was founded in 1984 by Richard Kenyon, a London teacher, whose vision was to enable disadvantaged inner city people to experience life in the Broads. He set up the trust in memory of his parents, Nancy and Oldfield Kenyon, who lived in Neatishead, initially using a  boat for the London visitors to stay on.

Centre Manager Stephen Bradnock said: “This 30th anniversary is a major milestone for the Trust and we want to celebrate it by inviting everyone along to see what we do. We wouldn’t have been able to carry out our plans for improvement without these two sizeable legacies for which we are immensely grateful. As a result we can now offer excellent facilities for all our visitors. It is wonderful to be able to continue to build on Richard Kenyon’s vision.”

The Nancy Oldfield Trust offers half day boat trips—sailing, canoeing, motor boat cruising, fishing and bird-watching—for £9, less than half of the cost, and significantly subsidised self- catering holidays in the bungalow at £30 per person per night which includes boating activities. Most of the visitors are accompanied by carers.

Sailing trips go out daily between Easter and the end of October, skippered by experienced volunteers who enable the visitors to try sailing for themselves if they wish.  The three motor boats go out daily throughout the year – only ice stops them!

The Trust also runs a range of RYA courses for sailing instructors, senior instructors, power boat handling, inland waterways helmsmen, courses for women run by women, youth sailing and first aid.

More volunteers, particularly experienced sailors, are always needed to take out boat trips, help with administration, marketing, reception duties and boat maintenance.

For more information visit www.nancyoldfield.org.uk

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