Wheelyboat Services Win the Queen’s Award.

Wheelyboat Services are proud to announce the group has been awarded The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services.

This is the highest award given to local volunteer groups across the UK to recognise outstanding work done in their communities. It is an MBE for volunteer groups and is a recognition of the dedication and hard work of the Wheelyboat Services volunteers.

Mr David Briggs MBE KStJ, HM Lord-Lieutenant of Cheshire, said of the group

“Overwater Wheelyboat Services is a truly worthy winner of The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service. Their magnificent team of volunteers provide pure pleasure to so many of the least fortunate people in our community and enables them to see the very best of our wonderful County. I much hope to be able to present this well-deserved award to all the volunteers in the near future and I thank each of them for all that they do”

Wheelyboat Services was the brainchild of Audlem residents Rodney Cottrell BEM & Michael Harthern who, along with a team of volunteers, set about raising £30,000 for a custom-built wheelyboat designed to carry disabled passengers. By securing the support of the Wheelyboat Trust, as well as many other sponsors such as Comic Relief, Cheshire Community Action, Ableworld and individual contributors within the local area, the ‘Maughan Lass’ was launched in 2015.

Based at Overwater Marina, owned by the Maughan family, the 17ft boat, is specially designed for people with mobility issues allowing roll on/roll off access for wheelchairs. This has meant that local disabled children and adults have been able to participate in trips around the Marina and along the Shropshire Union Canal enjoying the wildlife and countryside of Cheshire. Since its launch, the Wheelyboat has carried some 1500 people.

In early 2017, the team identified a need for a means to transport people from their homes and care homes to the boat and the Overwater Wheelybus Project was born.   Rodney and the team set about the task of raising over £35,000 to purchase a minibus suitable for carrying wheelchairs and less able passengers. The bus also now works with local community groups transporting disabled passengers to hospital and other appointments. Delivered on a not-for-profit voluntary service, the success and continuation of both the boat and bus services depend completely on its group of front-line volunteers and their supporters.

Wheelyboat Services President and Overwater Marina owner Dr Janet Maughan, says

“I am delighted and immensely proud to announce that the group is to receive the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The people who have made this happen are beyond special – as volunteers they have no measured value, not because it is difficult to measure their worth but because they are priceless”

The Queen’s Award is awarded to any group doing voluntary work that provides a social, economic, or environmental services to the local community. Each group is assessed on the benefit it brings to, as well as its standing in, that community. Therefore, we at Wheelyboat Services and Overwater Marina are delighted that our volunteers have won this prestigious award.


Wheelyboat Services Contact Details :  www.overwaterwheelyboat.co.uk

Rodney Cottrell - 01270 811454 /  rodney@kynsal.co.uk

Rodney Derbyshire – 01270 625552

Overwater Marina Contact Details: info@overwatermarina.co.uk

Janet Maughan or David Johnson - 01270 812677


Overwater Marina is a 230 berth inland waterways marina in beautiful and rural South Cheshire, just outside the village of Audlem. The marina has won a number of awards since its opening in 2010, including becoming the first canal marina to be awarded 5 Gold Anchors in the TYHA Marina Accreditation Scheme; the Environment Award from the Marine Trades Association; High Sheriff of Cheshire Awards for Corporate Social Responsibility and the Family Business Award; and is a TYHA Marina of Distinction.


Overwater Wheelyboat provides wheelchair friendly trips aboard the ‘Maughan Lass’ on the Shropshire Canal, just outside the village of Audlem in Cheshire.


Overwater Wheelybus provides wheelchair transport so that those in need can take advantage of the Wheelyboat whilst also meeting some needs for transport identified by local voluntary groups and Audlem Medical Practice. The aim of the project is to improve the social experience and quality of life for local people with mobility issues.


The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Services this year saw 230 recipients from across the UK.

More information on the recipients and the Award can be found at






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