SINCE the start of Covid-19 the Roving Canal Traders Association (RCTA) along with many other charities, non-profit-making groups, businesses and traders that make up the canal network have had a tough time.
This year however, things returned to almost normal and the association’s floating markets started to take off once again, enabling RCTA to resume its annual charity donations.
These are voted for by members who, this year, chose the Waterways Chaplaincy and the Forces Vets Afloat Project with a donation of £500 to each.
The Waterways Chaplains work alongside the Canal & River Trust to make sure boaters who have fallen on hard times or need some sort of support are not missed or lost in the system.
They work with food banks around the country and make sure that essential meals, bag of coal or fuel get to those who might otherwise go without; they maintain contact and support in so many ways.
RCTA traders often come into contact with some of the chaplains who are very supportive of the association’s events so it was suggested that the donation was presented to the charity via waterways chaplains Malcolm and Stephanie Grey-Smart, who live beside the Shropshire Union Canal in Market Drayton and are very well known within the boating community.
Senior chaplain Mark Chester said: “This donation of £500 will make a real difference in the lives of some of the boaters we encounter.”
The Forces Vets Afloat Project is close to finishing one of its donated boats, nb Daisy, ready for a forces veteran to make her their home.
The founder of this project Andy Flint said: “What a lovely email to wake up to,” when informed of the donation. Members hope it helps them with ongoing projects.
RCTA also makes a smaller annual donation to the Canal & River Trust if possible, as without its support floating markets and other waterways events would not take place.