My thoughts go out to all our volunteers at this difficult time; my wife and I have recently returned from a truncated holiday in New Zealand and as we returned we discussed the possibility of spending some self-isolation time on our boat, which is currently moored at Blisworth. Of course, we have heeded the government’s advice not to travel and so, like most people, we are at home and, because we had to travel through crowded airports where someone must have had the virus, we are relying on friends and neighbours to do our shopping for us.  Our diet has certainly changed, but we are alive and well and hoping that when it is all over we can get back to normal.

During the course of our travels we met quite a number of folk who were in a worse way than us.  One man was trying to get his eighty year-old father who does not speak English back from a visit to Australia to his home in Germany.  A woman had had to buy her air fare back to the UK at an inflated price because she could not contact her airline by phone.  A young couple on a gap-year holiday had run out of money and wanted to return home but could not.  And one young woman told us that, although she was on her way back to the UK her parents had refused to have her in the house!

I am sure that many of you could tell similar stories; some are adapting well to the new reality and some are not.  Whichever group you fall into, please be assured that Waterways Experiences will come out of this crisis as strong as ever and needing your expertise and enthusiasm.  When it is all over our customers will need rest and relaxation as never before and our services will be in high demand.  Because we rely entirely on a volunteer workforce we shall be able to service the needs of clients as soon as we are allowed to, and we shall be particularly looking to help the less able and disadvantaged to get over what will have been a traumatic time. 

So settle back and enjoy the isolation; when it is over life will be hectic indeed!

Paul Bennett