St John Ambulance Goes Waterbourne in Ely

PUBLISHED: 18:20 02 April 2009 | UPDATED: 10:49 04 May 2010

ST JOHN S Ambulance volunteers from Soham, Cambridge and Huntingdonshire took to the water on Wednesday, to road test their boat ready for disadvantaged visitors. Soham Tony Hinsley, who has been a volunteer for St John Ambulance for 18 years with his wi

ST JOHN'S Ambulance volunteers from Soham, Cambridge and Huntingdonshire took to the water on Wednesday, to road test their boat ready for disadvantaged visitors.

Soham Tony Hinsley, who has been a volunteer for St John Ambulance for 18 years with his wife Barbara, took the Lady Bird boat from it permanent mooring at Hertford Marina to Ely, where the group are hoping to run regular free tours for charitable and disadvantaged parties on the 20-seater cruiser.

The boat was finished at Fox's Boatyard near March, last year, and formally named after Soham's Lady Baird - the main donor for the project - but this is the first time the boat has been moored at Willow Walk.

"Some of the best trips we do have been for children with physical or learning difficulties," said Mr Hinsley. "It must be a sheltered life they lead, then they can get out on the river, use their binoculars to see birds they have never seen before."

Lady Bird has been running tours from Huntingdon since then - but wants to start mooring at Ely for a week to take parties of less mobile people out on the river. Tours can be of any length, and are free, with donations accepted. The boat can seat up to six wheelchairs and has disabled toilets on board.

INFO: To book a tour call the Waterwing St John Lady Bird team on 07595089537

The Lady Bird St John Ambulance crew.

Photo: CATHERINE ATKINSON

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