Coronavirus support on the K&A is up and running but more volunteers are needed

Julian House Travelling Communities Support Service is setting up a community help plan for liveaboards affected by Covid-19 (coronavirus) between Hanham and Wootton Rivers. They will also make any ideas and resources available so boaters further afield can replicate them. They are looking for willing, healthy community members who can self-organise to support people’s basic needs and give practical help where needed. At the moment they particularly need more volunteers in the Long Pound between Coate Bridge and Wootton Rivers.

This will allow the small Julian House team to continue their vital roles for the most vulnerable in the travelling communities. They want boaters to take on organisational roles and to coordinate our already thriving community in response to the crisis. They are setting up a pool of volunteers, divided into 15 zones covering the River Avon and the K&A up to Wootton Rivers. Community Coordinators in each zone will organise the volunteers to support those in need.

They are looking for 12 Community Coordinators who will work in pairs to coordinate 3 zones each. They will be the first point of contact for boaters moored in their patch needing practical assistance. For anything else they would be able to signpost to the relevant support agency, such as Julian House, CRT, etc. They also need Community Helpers who can offer practical help over the coming weeks and months, such as with shopping and deliveries. This means a Community Coordinator could contact you to help if you sign up for or are moored in their zones.

If you want to get involved and you are healthy, under 70, have no underlying health conditions and are not pregnant, sign up here:

Pay It Forward for Fuel and help a boater who may be struggling financially

Pay it Forward is a way to help someone else when you’re placing your usual order for coal, wood or gas. Simply request to pay for an extra bag of coal or bottle of gas and the fuel boats can deliver to those who may need a helping hand. If you’re in a position to offer a little bit extra then these K&A fuel boats are participating:

Spencer and Victoria Collins 07790 017418

Frederick Thefuelboat 07508 904378

Ozzie Paul Diprose 07503 583523

Food supplies and deliveries

Julian House will also be working in collaboration with local food banks to distribute food parcels to those in crisis. For those who are able to afford groceries, but lack an address for online shopping services, they will be sourcing a solution in the coming days. They are also talking with Spencer and Victoria Collins to ensure people who are facing financial hardship can access a basic supply of coal and wood. They will also be organising donation points at locations along the canal for boaters who would like to donate items, but who are conscious of social distancing so are avoiding trips into town.

CRT Enforcement

The message from CRT locally is to get in touch if you are concerned. If you have to self-isolate on the K&A, let CRT know and they will make the necessary arrangements to lift enforcement. Section 17 (3)(c) (ii) of the British Waterways Act 1995 entitles boaters without a home mooring to stay longer than 14 days in any one place if it is reasonable in the circumstances. Boaters without a home mooring do not need permission from CRT in order to do this, despite the fact that CRT frequently refers to “approved overstays” and wrongly implies that its permission is needed to stay longer. We would suggest that boaters inform CRT, preferably in writing, of their location and why they are overstaying. Enforcement Officer Matthew Preston can be contacted on or 07917 688591.

Other support

There is also a coronavirus support page on Facebook for K&A Boaters and Travellers

The NBTA has published a summary of advice on coronavirus that is most relevant to boaters without a home mooring here

See also

Julian House Travelling Communities Support Service

If are self-isolating, mildly or moderately ill DO NOT call 111 unless you have no internet access. Also to protect yourself and others, do NOT go to a GP, pharmacy or hospital. See the NHS advice here:


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,