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Tilly Maiden Voyage with The Goddards Residents

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

This month, Tilly has set sail on its maiden voyage. Skippers John Armson, Garry Morren and Phil Bowers were joined by The Goddards Care Home residents. Everyone was very excited for their day, sailing along the canal. British Steel's Heather Bateman and Helen Rennie accompanied the residents on their trip.

What is Tilly?

Tilly is a community canal boat which is owned and operated by HFR Solutions CIC, moored at Blue Water Marina, Thorne. Built in 2019, the boat was assembled by volunteers, with donations from Howdens. The purpose of the boat is to bring communities together. We hope to educate those onboard, whilst building confidence and reducing social isolation. There is no cost to charities and non-profit making organisations, with duration flexibility and a variety of lunch options to choose from.

A Grand Day Out

A few memories of the day from Skipper, John Armson

With all the Tilly daily checks complete, we welcomed aboard the residents and staff from The Goddards. The new ramp purchased worked a treat, and is ideal for berth to boat transfer. With the safety brief delivered, we set off on our real first trip out with guests from our community.

Despite a very short shower at the start of our trip, the enthusiasm of all onboard could not be dampened. Everyone was excited as we navigated the swing foot bridge at Thorne. Walkers on the tow path received waves and shouts of "hello" and "what’s your dog called?" from Team Goddard’s. The response from all was equally enthusiastic and heartfelt.

Life jackets on, a number of Team Goddards assisted Phil and Gary to expertly navigated Tilly into the lock. With road barriers in place and the gates closed, we rose to meet the level of the canal at Stanilands Marina. Once the swing bridge was opened by Phil and passengers Neil and AJ, Tilly eased through and moored to await all the reboard. Meanwhile, Anna (ably assisted by Heather and Helen) handed out well deserved cups of tea and coffee to all on Tilly.

Once the shower passed, the weather was glorious with sunshine lighting up the lily pads and flowers on the water way. Before we knew it, we were under the M18 bridge and moored up at the old colliery berth. We ate sandwiches, along with a wonderful Victoria sponge cake, washed down with lots more tea and coffee. Once refreshed, we made our way back to Blue Water Marina, with assisted steering from Team Goddards. The trip was filled with joy from all concerned. Perhaps it is the slow pace of life and a bit of added rays of sunshine from Team Goddards that makes what life should be all about. I know for certain that Team Goddards will be back onboard in the very near future. Thanks to everyone involved, it’s taken awhile but it's so very much worth it.

Heather Bateman from British Steel commented "The trip was amazing. Everyone had a fab time. They all want to go again. Really really amazing facility. Can't thank you enough for letting us go, it was brill".

The Goddards said "Everyone enjoyed their trip on the canal. Thank you HFR Solutions. What a wonderful way to spend the day".

The Goddards Community Garden

In June, HFR Solutions funded and installed a new sensory garden at The Goddards Care Home in Snaith. The garden will provide a sense of escapism for the residents after a turbulent couple of years stuck inside, during lockdown. It was lovely to catch up with the residents and staff and hear that they are still enjoying their new garden; and we will be going back to The Goddards on the 09/09 to put a sail up over the decking and finish off the polytunnel entrance.

How You Can Help

You can support your corporate social responsibility by sponsoring a community group boating trip. Alternatively, we are always looking for volunteers for skippers and crew members. There is also the option of hiring the boat for team meetings, team building exercises and sunset cruises. Tilly is also an alternate venue for some of our courses. Get in touch to discuss your options.


We plan to continue taking community groups out on the boat at no cost to them, and we are always looking for personnel to volunteer. Spending the day out on the boat allows these groups to experience a sense of escapism. Partaking in new exercises and experiences provides many benefits for a resident's health and wellbeing.

If you are aware of any community groups that would benefit from joining us on Tilly, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!

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