Making UK inland waterways and waterside living accessible for all

Waterlodge UK celebrate the lengths that businesses will go to create products inclusive to all. Indeed, we strive to make our floating homes as flexible as possible so anyone can utilise them, to enjoy a life on the water. On 2nd December we are heading to Birmingham to the Towards Accessible Waterways Day, to join other companies exhibiting and working towards making our beautiful Inland Waterways fully accessible. Below we share why we are excited to be part of such a great day in our Waterways community.

How can we make Waterways in the UK more accessible?

The Accessible Waterways Association (AWA) has members that all are living with disabilities, long-term health conditions or with carers and they all strive to make the waterways and surrounding environments accessible for everyone to enjoy. It was founded by Tracey Clarke, who has a passion for living aboard her narrowboat, with her husband and pet dog and is registered Severely Visually Impaired. She initially started a Facebook Group IWAF (Inland Waterways Accessibility Forum) and then was co-opted onto the Canal and River Trust Council in 2020, to represent the interests of Disabled Boaters.

Still in its infancy, the AWA is now embarking on administering a Boater’s Blue Care Scheme which is soon to be launched and has other developments in the pipeline to try and make a difference to those needing suitable access to our UK Inland Waterways.

What is Towards Accessible Waterways Day?

Towards Accessible Waterways Day (TAW) is a conference and exhibition event set up by the AWA in association with the Canal & River Trust to represent people who may be living with a disability or more, whilst getting together boating companies across the UK together to discuss the best ways to help those who enjoy angling, boating, cycling and more, access our Inland Waterways safely.

The day takes place on 2nd December 2023 at Trefoil House in Birmingham, between 10:30am to 6pm to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, held annually on 3rd December. Amongst the speakers include Rob Oliver, Paralympic Kayaker, who won Bronze at the Tokyo Paralympics in 2020.

Why are we attending the show?

Waterlodge UK floating apartments can be customised to support life on water for people with disabilities, who desire a more traditional waterbased lifestyle. We strive to accommodate the needs our customers and do so by offering the following features to help create an accessible access to and within our floating homes:

  • All boats are built in the customers specifications and requirements
  • Deck access is at the same height as the standard pontoon
  • Flat floors throughout the boat
  • Customised walk-in showers
  • Special kitchens made as required

We are always looking for ways to innovate and by attending we will not only be able to show case our models but also gain greater insight into some of the key issues raised and solutions being put forward by those in the industry.

Come along and join us

We look forward to exhibiting and hope to see you there to support such a great cause. The event is free to attend but donations towards the costs and buffet lunch are welcome. See the event programme for further information and directions for those who may be unfamiliar with the area.

Waterlodge UK want all our customers to be able to experience life on the water they dream of, so contact us if you want to know more about our accessibility offerings across our range of Waterlodges.

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