About The Willow Trust

Young guest on board Spirit of Freedom II

Even the young ones get to have a go at steering the boat

The Willow Trust was founded in 1989, taking delivery of its first boat in 1991 and its second in 1993. The aim of the Trust is to provide a unique opportunity for disabled people of all ages and types of disability or serious illness to enjoy a therapeutic day out on the water.

Every weekday between the beginning of April and the end of October, our two boats  – Leonard Matchan and Spirit of Freedom II – cruise on the beautiful Gloucester – Sharpness Canal with groups of disabled or seriously ill people on board. Somehow pain and disability are forgotten on these days and the voyages bring much joy and inspiration to the lives of many less able people. As one group wrote the day was like a ‘slice of heaven’.

The philosophy of the Willow Trust remains constant

The boats are for the sole use of people of any age and disability and from any background. Nobody pays.

The Willow Trust is completely self-funding and apart from its own fund raising events and the contributions of The Friends of the Willow Trust, we are totally dependent on your donations to stay afloat. Please go to How you can Help Us to find out more about the many ways you could help. You might decide to become a volunteer for our boat trips, or do some online shopping and let your favourite stores give us a donation with Easyfundraising.

Please Join us as a Friend of The Willow Trust

Young Willow Trust Guest enjoying taking the helm of Spirit of Freedom II

Young Willow Trust Guest enjoying taking the helm of Spirit of Freedom II

You may even decide to join us and Become a Friend of The Willow Trust and be kept in touch with all our news and events. Your annual Willow Trust membership helps sponsor a disabled person to spend a marvelous day on the water.

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