Community Impact

Children enjoying a day out on London's canal

We set out the benefits for community groups of our canal trips and projects here

Read what our users say…

What a residential trip can achieve for some younger people is best described in their own words or by the group leaders.  A recent group leader put it like this:

“The kids we took on our trip are normally highly suspicious of adults and their peers who they don’t personally know and they engage in ridiculing and antagonising strangers. Over 5 days on the boat they met dozens of strangers from the canal community – strangers who said hello, can I help you with that, and said please and thank you and asked their names, and who wanted to point out interesting things along the water. And by the end of their trip every one of our kids was saying hello back, offering to help a stranger, and began to see that others were not necessarily out to harm them but were interested in them because of who they were and not because they wanted to hurt them.

In showing and modelling an alternative way of life, the residential trip began producing fruit in a very short time. The kids became a team – a big one pushed open a lock gate and let a little one believe it was he who did it, they showed compassion when someone got hurt or was upset, they understood and participated in common courtesies like please and thank you and excuse me. It was amazing and such a privilege to watch them looking out for one another!”

And this from others taking residential trips:

“What an experience!  Thank you so much for this opportunity!!!  The kids really loved it.  Thee job you are doing is priceless.  You provide opportunities where other people shut their doors!”

“Working with charities like you give our pupils, who all have statements of special needs, life time memories and skills that they can take into the wider world.  The Angel Boat has really enriched pupils’ summer holidays during the last 2 trips.  Your skippers have worked with both the pupils and staff in a very supportive, engaging and fun way.  John you were particularly amazing!  Your calm, patient and very nurturing manner towards all of our pupils  helped them learn so many social skills, as well as how to be safe on the boat and how to drive the boat.  The trips on the canal boat really supported our student’s personal, social and physical development.  The boat is perfectly set-up to teach life skills including cooking, socialising at meal time, cleaning, entertaining without social influences or the television.”

“The canal boat trip gave our pupils, who have moderate to severe learning difficulties, a sense of fun and adventure and developed their team work skills.  Best of all the trip made our students feel good about themselves.  At all times safety played a high priority and we were in the hands of a very experienced and able skipper who taught our students how to keep safe on a boat and at locks.  Best of all, our pupils adored to ‘work’ on the boat and at locks!”

“The first night we moored up next to a reservoir and they all thought we’d brought them to a beach – and we didn’t tell them it wasn’t!!”

“A child with delayed speech and language has been able to describe what it has been like to gain new friends, tell new stories and be accepted positively by his fellow peers which has enhanced his confidence and made him feel respected and part of the group.”

“Provided a special experience/the chance to show the children and young people they are valued.”

“It was good for the young people to live together with each other from other cultures and to learn to compromise and understand each other better.”

“Children had the opportunity to build independence, confidence, communication, patience, understanding and cooperation as they were ‘living’ together in a small space in a mixed age/ability group.”

“Levels of spoken English improved dramatically, and new strong friendships and connections were formed between young people who previously did not know each other. Several commented on how this was the first time they had been happy since coming to the U.K. providing a desperately needed break away from home, city life.”

“This residential enabled the children and young people an opportunity and an insight to develop their team building skills, leadership skills, communication, conflict resolution, developing ground rules, listening skills and breaking down barriers with others.”

And these comments are all about day trips:

“We had a fantastic time. One of the highlights of the term.”

“The trip on the boat was one of a kind. I have never seen my son so happy, jovial and active before.”

“The children really enjoyed helping the skipper and she gave them lots of responsibility, encouraged them and it was clear they thought she was fantastic.”

“The boat trip was so successful for our group and everyone enjoyed it so much that we plan to make it a permanent part of our programme in the future.”

“It was amazing, unique, lovely service, just a brilliant day!”

“The journey was fun and educational – we learnt about a completely different side to London, a bit about boat-life and also how to work a lock. It was also great to connect with other people out on the canal or by the sides, there was a real feeling of celebration.”

 “Because of my disability I don’t go out,  This has been an unforgettable trip, I didn’t expect to make. I am proud of my self”. (81 year old lady)

“I was amazed by the excitement because for them it was a unique opportunity” (carer)

“Social isolation is recognised as a major problem today.  Every one enjoyed meeting other people and sharing the experience of a wonderful trip”

“The boat trip was a real success and it was great to see everyone socializing and working together on Angel”

“The staff at the home where A currently is staying would not believe the day that she had had on Angel.  A does not normally receive any visitors”.

“It has been fantasic faultless experience for all involved, We are sorry that it is coming to an end”

“Being on this trip with on a small group was so nice as I often get very nervous”

Islington’s Mayor described the benefits of our activities with young people:

“The Angel Boat provides positive activities for young people from right across the borough. It gives something fun for young people to do on the water – but more importantly than this, it imparts important lessons about responsibility and teamwork. These young people gain confidence and learn about themselves, other people, and their environment, and learn what it means to be part of a team. This charity is promoting exactly the right lessons for young people.”