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Diana to set off for Paralympics from Great Bedwyn Wharf
10:38am Monday 13th August 2012 in Marlborough
Disabled visitors to the Paralympics will be able to stay on a boat which is normally based on the Kennet and Avon Canal.
Great Bedwyn’s Bruce Trust, which provides holidays for disabled people on the canal, is sending one of its boats on an 82-mile canal and river journey to provide accommodation near the Olympic Stadium for disabled visitors from throughout the UK.
Diana, one of its four specially-designed, purpose-built, wide-beam canal boats, will leave at 11.30am on Saturday, August 18, from Great Bedwyn Wharf.
Among the many dignitaries who will be helping to send off The Diana on her epic, once-in-a-lifetime voyage, will be Christine Crisp, Chair of Wiltshire Council and Edwina Fogg, Mayor of Marlborough and Patron of East Wiltshire Mencap.
During the voyage, various Rotary Clubs along the Kennet and Avon Canal will be crewing the boat and providing day trips to local groups of people with special needs.
The Diana, named in memory of the late Princess of Wales, is scheduled to arrive on her mooring, as near to the Olympic Stadium as security will allow, in time for the opening ceremony of the Paralympics on Wednesday, August 29.
Bruce Trust volunteers will man her throughout the Games and a wide range of charities for disabled people have been invited to apply for low cost accommodation and entry tickets to the Paralympics.
The Diana can accommodate up to 10 people including carers per night and each person will be charged £25 per night.
Trust founder David Bruce said: “This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to not only attend the Paralympics but also to stay on one of our special boats in a unique location.
“The Diana is fully equipped and accessible for disabled visitors and we are only a few minutes wheelchair ride away from the main Olympic Stadium.
"This is a wonderful opportunity, thanks entirely to the crewing of The Diana by Rotary Club members, to provide day trips to local groups of people with special needs, thereby enabling them to experience cruising along the Kennet and Avon Canal.
“Sadly, after Reading we are unable to offer day trips to disabled people as there is very little suitable access along the River Thames until we reach our Stratford mooring.”