Welfare guidance

Welfare guidance

CRT’s welfare guidance is a support service intended for Trust staff and volunteers who have concerns about the welfare of boaters. If you come across a boater who you feel needs assistance, the following information may be useful. The guidance ensures that the Trust signposts them to the most appropriate agencies that can provide support services. It is being implemented in conjunction with CRT’s Equality Policy to promote equality for people with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 20101.

Boaters may be vulnerable due to disability, age, illness, or financial circumstances, for short or long periods. Boaters can also become vulnerable by not being fit for work, domestic abuse, or mental health needs2. Self-referral by a boater or a family member is also accepted. Typical trigger criteria that may lead to a referral are a complaint or concern raised by others, non-compliance with CRT terms and conditions, or behaviour that causes the Trust a concern and could cause a risk to themselves or others. In summary, the Trust will:

  • Help boaters identify the support available from local authorities, who have a duty of care to provide adequate services (housing, social services, benefit advice etc.), or other support agencies;
  • Help CRT staff and volunteers identify boaters who may be vulnerable and where support may help prevent them receiving enforcement action because of their vulnerability;
  • Allow CRT staff to work with nominated advocates where boaters would like them to liaise with someone else on their behalf.

The guidance will also help to reduce the financial costs incurred from licence evasion, enforcement action, court procedures, or boat removals.

After a referral is made, those with a support need may be offered the following services:

  • Flexible payment options;
  • Working with other CRT teams to consider signposting options;
  • Permitted overstays on medical or other appropriate grounds;
  • Putting boaters in touch with nationally recognised boating organisations; and
  • Reasonable adjustments for boaters with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010.

When a possible adjustment has been identified CRT, will request that an Equalities Questionnaire is completed3. The Head of Customer Service Support is responsible for implementing the arrangements and the Welfare Officer is responsible for periodically reviewing the document to ensure its on-going relevance and accuracy. The Trust also has a policy ‘Safeguarding Children, Young People and Adults at Risk’ and concerns should be raised to the Designated Safeguarding Officer4.

1 https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/original/34378-equality-act-reasonable-adjustment-policy.pdf?v=db65fc

2 https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/boating/licensing-your-boat/boat-licence-customer-support-team/do-you-know-a-vulnerable-boater

3 https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/original/35483-equalities-questionnaire.pdf?v=470fd9

4 https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/media/original/35777-safeguarding-position-statement.pdf?v=7be916



External agencies



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Age UK

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