Audlem Lass Boat Service
1130. Rodney Cottrell
Rodney Cottrell, from Cheshire, is a champion for community waterway services in his local community.
In 2010, Rodney launched ‘Audlem Lass Boat Service’, a unique volunteer-run service that operates every weekend from Easter to October, with trips from the Overwater marina to the picturesque canal village of Audlem. Today the service is supported by 40 volunteers and has since transported 37,000 passengers, raising £15000 for the RNLI and becoming one of south Cheshire’s most popular mini tourist attractions. Rodney has also worked to improve the boat service’s accessibility for people with disabilities, launching ‘The Overwater Wheelyboat Project’, which, in conjunction with ‘The Wheelyboat Trust’ provides free scenic boat tours on the Shropshire Union Canal for disabled and special needs children and adults. Through his work, Rodney has promoted a strong community spirit in the village of Audlem.
In a personal letter to Rodney, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“You should be very proud of your work fundraising and launching ‘Audlem Lass Boat Service’ and for providing opportunities for disabled people to enjoy Britain’s beautiful waterways. I wish you well as your work continues.”
Antoinette Sandbach, Rodney’s local MP, said:
“Rodney is the epitome of the Audlem village’s amazing community spirit, which is driven by a desire to help and make other people’s lives better. His kindness and get-up-and-go attitude is an inspiration to all he meets, which is reflected by the dedicated group of volunteers that he has motivated to run the services. I warmly congratulate Rodney on his Points of Light award.”
“I am honoured that the ‘Audlem Overwater Wheelyboat Service’ has been recognised by the Prime Minister.
“The award is testament to the hard-work and dedication of the team of volunteers, without whom the service simply would not exist.”