“Community Cruises” Help Visually-Impaired Affected By The Pandemic Prepare For The ‘New Normal’ As Two-Thirds Admit To Feeling Less Independent

Eco-friendly boat company GoBoat London has partnered with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) as part of its “Community Cruises” initiative, providing verbal guided tours to support the visually-impaired community affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The programme, which sees regular free boat trips and guided tours provided to the capital’s vulnerable and isolated population, aims to help improve the social and interpersonal skills and mental health of those who have been most affected by the ongoing pandemic.

Every Tuesday for the rest of the year, GoBoat will be providing free boat trips to any community groups or charities who want to utilise the initiative and benefit from the experience. Guests can enjoy, one, two or three hour trips on the electric picnic boats and enjoy a leisurely cruise, providing a sense of inclusivity and bridge the gap between communities. 

The RNIB is the latest charity to take advantage of the scheme in Paddington, London, as the Empowering Deaf Society continue to utilise the initiative due to popular demand. It comes following a survey done by the charity showed that two-thirds of people with sight loss said they feel less independent now than before lockdown.

Beki Tolliday, Community Connection Manager at the RNIB, said: “We are pleased to support GoBoat’s ‘Community Cruises’ project and their aim of connecting with people who have had a hard time during the pandemic. Coronavirus turned everyone’s world upside down but people with sight loss also faced challenges with social distancing and the physical changes made to streets, shop layouts and processes. Community Cruises’ is a fun experience that will allow the blind and partially sighted people on the boat trip to connect with others and enjoy learning about parts of London.”

Using experienced captains, GoBoat is putting on verbally guided tours for members of the RNIB and any other members of the visually-impaired community who may want to take advantage of the scheme.

GoBoat Head of Marketing, Ryan Price, said“It’s been a really tough year for a lot of people and especially for the vulnerable and isolated communities. Having been a part of the London and Paddington community for four years now, we wanted to take this opportunity to give back to those who need it most. We hope that our free ‘Community Cruises’ initiative goes some way to helping those who have been severely affected to be ready for the new normal.”

The RNIB is an amazing charity that is close to our hearts as our Co-Founder, Grant Sweeney’s late mother suffered from sight-loss. We look forward to working with them and continuing to have them involved in this great initiative. Also, if anyone would like to take advantage of the scheme, then please do get in touch.”

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