Based in Ballyleague, Co. Roscommon, Lough Ree Lanesborough Angling Hub was established as a not-for-profit, community-based group to promote tourism in the area, primarily fishermen and women keen to enjoy access to the Shannon. This wonderful fishing community sees angling as a recreational sport that is good for your health, well-being and is an inclusive group.
But when the group realised their boats weren’t suitable for users with disabilities or special needs, rather than shrug their shoulders they were inspired to change. They believed that being a true community amenity required being accessible to everybody, so they worked with the Irish Wheelchair Association and other disability groups to design a brand new type of boat, in fact the first of its kind in Ireland and Britain.
This innovative boat has a bow that lowers like a ferry to allow up to eight wheelchair users roll on and off unaided, and was launched in August 2020 bringing dozens of tourists and anglers with disabilities onboard every week since, and we’re so glad that funds raised from National Lottery players helped finance it.
This boat has opened a wonderful new opportunity for people with disabilities, and it also shows that this amazing fishing group truly is a champion of inclusivity. This boat has made their dreams come true, and the people behind it have shown the wonderfully inclusive and community-based qualities the National Lottery Good Causes are proud to commend at these Awards.