Co-op Local Community Fund: Partnership results in nearly £1,000 donated to local charity

Charity The Wheelboat Trust has received almost £1,000 in donations from West Sussex Co-op members this year.

A Coulam Wheelyboat V20 out on the water. Credit Emily Whitling, RYA

The money will help thousands of wheelchair users get out enjoying the UK's inshore waters, lakes, rivers and canals.

The charity based in Petworth, which has provided over 200 wheelchair accessible boats called ‘Wheelyboats’ to sailing clubs, schools, fisheries and other organisations across the UK and Europe since 1984, is incredibly grateful to be one of three charities benefiting from the Co-op Local Community Fund in West Sussex.

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Andy Beadsley, director of The Wheelyboat Trust says: “After such a difficult 18 months and at a time when funding for community groups and charities is harder to come by, we are incredibly grateful to benefit from the Co-op’s Local Community Fund. Without donations and the ongoing support from individuals and organisations, our work would not be possible. So thank you, Co-op, for helping us making a difference to wheelchair users across West Sussex and beyond!”

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Wheelyboat Trust: The charity that provides accessible boats

Members can visit the Co-op website or download the app to select which charity they wish to support, and 2p of every £1 spent goes towards one of the three charities. This ongoing scheme supports various local causes and community organisations, including The Wheelyboat Trust.

There are currently three different Wheelyboat models, which each have roll-on, roll-off access, enabling anyone in a wheelchair to board safely and independently. All Wheelyboats bring a newfound freedom to anyone with a mobility impairment, and the ability to participate in outdoor, water-based activities alongside family and friends is hugely beneficial for mental and physical health and wellbeing. All Wheelyboats are hand built and fitted out to order by Jim Coulam of boatbuilders Coulam Ltd.

The Wheelyboat Trust relies on donations from individuals and organisations, and their work could not continue without the ongoing generosity they provide. To help get more disabled people out on UK waters, text WHEELYBOAT to 70085 to donate £5.

To find out more about The Wheelyboat Trust, visit