The Forces Veterans Afloat Charitable Trust.

Getting British Forces Veterans
off the streets and in to floating homes

IMPORTANT; much as we'd like to have a boat for every veteran who would like to live on one, we just can't do that. In order to be considered for one of our boats, a person needs to be a veteran, homeless - that is not living a fixed abode for which they pay a rent, and under the care of a recognised service charity. That charity must recommend the veteran to us and undertake to continue their care and support  while they are living on one of our boats. 

So how did we come about?

In July 2021, a member of the abandoned boats group on Facebook, Andy Flint,  came up with an idea. And the idea struck a chord in the community on the cut and rivers.

Andy put a post on Facebook, proposing river and canal users, boat owners and businesses  use our combined knowledge and skills to restore a boat and give it to a homeless ex service person. 

The response in the other groups was phenomenal, and in just days, through others willing and generosity, we had a locked secured yard to work on the boat and a company willing to transport the boat to and from any part of the country for free.
In less than a week we had been donated out 1st narrowboat. By April 2023, we had 6.

The charity, The Veterans Support Association have now thrown their weight behind us, so we can work in partnership with them to place the finished boats in the right place. The Royal British Legion have also offered to support out boats and the veterans on them.

We have enough people power to get it restored but would love all the help we could get. 

If you would like to get involved but won't be able to be "hands on" - if you are able, a donation towards any licensing, insurance and so on, for boats we restore, would be much appreciated. You'll find a link to donate at the foot of the Home page and on the bar at the top.

Do get in touch if you can help - either on the email link above, via our Facebook page messenger, or by What'sApp.

If you have a boat you might like to donate, please contact Andy via forcesvetsafloat@gmail.com or Pete@forcesvetsafloat.co.uk
About Us image

Introducing NB Atalanta

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NB Clover - our latest addition to the FVA fleet.

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NB Capricorn, under tow by Pete and NB Kinver

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Our Flagship - NB Daisy

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Meet "Canute"

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  •  16/06/2020 12:00 AM

Restoration of our flagship NB Daisy

How could we top the amazing weekend we had 7 days ago? Well, we have - so what happens next?

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How 24 hours has secured a sound future for our tattiest boat - thanks to "The Kindness of Strangers"

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No fire without smoke - a modern dilemma or a matter of live and death?

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We raise a glass to the men behind Forces Veteran Afloat - prepare to blush, boys!

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The blog returns after a summer break - and what else could the subject be on the 11th of the 11th, of the 11th, other than Remembrance? But who are the hidden casualties who have started to be recognised?

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NB Daisy is nearly at the stager where we can get her in the water and back to HQ - we need one, vital thing...

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FVA founder Andy, shares his story of how much our flagship, NB Daisy means to him.

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It's a huge leap for us!

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If something isn't "uniform" - it can upset things - but when it is, something meaningful can happen.

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This week saw two significant events marked in very different ways. Does that matter?

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I always thought I might, one day, do a bit of volunteering for charity - I never expected it to take over my life!

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Stuck on a boat with no forward gear on the River Severn isn't fun, but thankfully, catastrophe was averted.

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Mooring ropes for sale imageMooring ropes for sale imageMooring ropes for sale image
Need some new mooring lines this year? Buy them through us and contribute to the FVA's much-needed funds. They're 10 metres long.

They cost £30 each  plus P & P - £10 goes to FVA

To buy - contact Pete on WhatsApp 07496 447656 

Vigitech Solutions

For GPS trackers

We will now be able to see where our boats are all the time, thanks to the generous donation of 4 GPS trackers and service subscriptions to run them. They have been donated by www.vigitech.uk They have a variety of trackers suitable for boats - please give them your custom if you're in the market for one. The trackers mean that if we have a veteran in need of help on a boat, we will know exactly where it is. Thanks, Vigitech Solutions, for giving us that peace of mind.

Ares, for his DIY donation

Supporter, Ares, from Northern Ireland wanted help do up one of our boats. As we don't have one in Northern Ireland, he's sent us a whole load of DIY goodies. Thanks, Ares!

Joy for her out-board motor

Thanks a million, to the very generous, Joy. She's donated us a brand new, 15bhp, Tohatsu outboard motor. This is going to be a huge help.

Glyn & Barbara - for their huge donation!

The donators of our 4th boat - Daisy

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Ballinger Towage & Steerage Services

 Towpath Talk - we were proud to be featured in the January 2022 edition: https://edition.pagesuite-professional.co.uk/html5/reader/production/default.aspx?pubname=&pubid=d192940e-f732-42bc-a9d9-6fbce501da9a 

 Our feature on ITV Central: We are proud to be working in association with the Veteran Support Association. Registered charity reg no 1190025 in England & Wales . Find out more about their work by following the link: http://www.veteranssupportassociation.co.uk/ The Association's John Joyce spoke about linking with on ITV Central News https://business.facebook.com/ForcesVetsAfloat/videos/292011462468537/ 

 Waterways World - 

How did Forces Vets Afloat start?

Founder, Andy is a boat owner and member of a group which is interested in the many abandoned boats on our canals and rivers.

He proposed in the group, that it might be possible to get hold of an abandoned boat, refurbish it, and pass it on to someone who was homeless.

People loved the idea and the overall consensus was that the boat should go to a former member of the British Armed Forces, who was without a home.

The day after is initial post on canal-themed Facebook pages, offers of help  came flooding in, and it was decided that a Facebook page was needed to keep track of things. Lizzie Lane then came on board, as admin, to build the FB page and now the website.

How do we choose the veterans who live on our boats?

Much as we'd love to have boats for every veteran who wanted to live on one, we know that's just not possible.
To be considered for one of our boats there are two vital criteria veterans must meet.
The 1st sounds like a no-brainer but you'd be surprised how many people don't get it - a veteran must be homeless and that means not living in rented accommodation, in a property which they are paying the mortgage for, or in which a partner pays the rent or mortgage.
The 2nd is that they must be referred to us by a charity which is assisting them and which will continue to assist them once they are on board our boat. 

Where do the boats come from?

The original idea was to give new life to boats which have been abandoned and who's owners can't be traced. This would bring back in to use,  boats which would just eventually sink, stop them becoming eyes sores and blocking mooring spaces.

This rapidly spread to being offered the pick of boats which had been taken to be scrapped - which will give us scope for different sizes and styles of craft.

Our 1st boat  - a narrowboat - was extremely generously donated, by the family of a gentleman who had died. What a memorial - what a wonderful gesture. 

Who can get involved in restoration?

The simple answer is - anyone.

If you want to help - we will find you something to do.
It could be as simple as helping wash a boat down or doing some sanding, to skilled jobs like plumbing, painting, gas and engine servicing, laying floors, running up curtains and furnishings, the list could go on for miles.
If you have a skill - we can use it.
If you have a willing pair of hands and some time - we can use you.

If you want to get involved, drop us a message using the contact page on this site, message on the Forces Vets Afloat Facebook page, or use What'sApp, the number is on our header on the home page.

I don't have a skill or time to help, how can I get involved?

We realised very soon after we started the project, that travelling to where the boats are and getting stuck in would be impossible for some people.

To this end we have set up a Go Fund Me page - where you can make donations if you would like to.

You can find it here:

https://www.gofundme.com/sign-up?alertKey=team_invitation&acceptTeamInviteFundUrl=the-forces-vets-afloat-project&teamInvite=CzqD2tvCQmeqz5JlAE1aza0gLJOy8YOSX7Vx19P57f75hJNkVwrlzdDU96boo0WN&utm_medium=magic_link&utm_source=customer&utm_campaign=p_lico%2Bteam-invite&fbclid=IwAR0gmv0n6QgAp0fYsScgI3sMPMDeZvuHf16l-PHRP24kuKmLy_9Neg_AbfI​​​