Our annual profit donation has now been made. The Floating Boatyard is run as a worker owned co op. We follow the co operative values, as first set out by the Rochdale Pioneers. Part of this is a commitment to our wider community. We carry out this commitment in a few ways, including:
- we keep our prices affordable to most boaters
- we offer a 10% discount on labour rates to people on income-based benefits and to union members as a gesture of solidarity
- we share our knowledge on this website and on our Facebook page so people can carry our their own boat repairs
- we help out boaters in need throughout the year
- we pay all our workers the London living wage as set out by the Living Wage Foundation
- we donate at least 51% of any cash profit left at the end of the year to a charitable project.
This year, as our members have been so busy getting the co op off the ground, we have decided to donate the small profit we have made to a charity. We asked the boating community to first nominate charities of their choice, on our Facebook page. Then, we created a poll to find out which charity was the most popular.
The results were:
The Dot Collective and Waterways Chaplaincy had been neck and neck throughout the polling period, so we have decided to split the donation between the two charities with The Dot Collective receiving £353.33 and Waterways Chaplaincy receiving £176.66. We asked the two charities to tell us a little about their work, which you can find below.
The Dot Collective:
‘Registered charity The Dot Collective was set up by Artistic Director of the former company First Draft Theatre and actress, Laura Harling. Laura ran First Draft Theatre for 6 years and worked as a professional actress in film, TV and theatre. When her grandmother, who loved the theatre, needed full time care, Laura discovered the desperate need for professional theatre and stimulation in care communities. Laura set up The Dot Collective in memory of her grandmother, Dorothy, as a registered charity in 2016.
The Dot Collective tour, professional theatre which encompasses themes of the elderly and dementia including: providing professional pop-up theatre in care centres, theatrical workshops that celebrate the abilities of elderly participants often with dementia and raising awareness of the disease through professional, public performance.
More information can be found at www.thedotcollective.com
Since 2015 The Dot Collective have been touring and creating theatre with care groups across the South East at little to no cost to the care centre as limited activity budgets can not afford theatre productions of this nature. The Dot Collective’s touring productions transform care centre spaces with all the aesthetics of a theatre alongside providing professional productions for those unable to get to a theatre. In the past their performances have brought together four generations of family, sat together enjoying shared entertainment in the comfort of care surroundings. The Dot Collective work closely with care service providers and leading charities including: Dementia Action Alliance, AgeUK, The Alzheimer’s Society and Care UK. They have worked with over 30 care
centres since 2015.’
‘That Britain’s rapidly growing Waterways Chaplaincy network is now making an impact in both rural and urban communities is reflected in a generous gift from London’s Floating Boatyard. Floating Boatyard is a worker-owned cooperative with a charitable focus and the chaplaincy is very grateful for their recent recognition and donation. The gift will be well used.
Waterways Chaplains, walking stretches of towpath around the country are there to support all who live, work or take their leisure on, or immediately around, Britain’s rivers and canals where social conditions for some are often not as relaxed and delightful as many imagine. ‘We are there for people of any faith or none at all,’ says Senior Chaplain Mark Chester, ‘and the vision for our Waterways Chaplains is to be ‘catalysts’ in the waterways communities, to bring about short and long term personal transformation – emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
‘Starting from an initial trial in the St Albans area we have a growing team of volunteer chaplains, currently over 70 of them. Many are focused on one area but a number also live aboard their own boats and cruise the system. This enables us to cover many of the main arteries of the UK, including the Grand Union Canal, the Kennet & Avon Canal, the Basingstoke Canal and the Wey and Lee & Stort Navigations.
‘Last year we engaged with over 5,000 people in connection with issues relating to boats,
finance, family problems, health issues and often things relating to faith and spirituality. This year sees us starting to expand our work further into the London area. With the increasing number of volunteers coming forward we expect to build on 2017 and make even more of an impact.’
Chaplains are volunteers from local churches who regularly visit to walk the towpaths. They are people with a love for the waterways and their communities. Easily identifiable by the clearly marked gilets they wear, they have gained the respect of the Canal & Rivers Trust (CRT) and other river authorities for the support can they offer’