The Baldwin Trust About Us

The Baldwin Trust was founded in 1983 with three Trustees. The name arose as a result of a small bequest from two nurses who worked on the Baldwin Ward of a Leicestershire hospital.

Bert and Joan Halsey were active in the ward and committed themselves to raising funds for a narrowboat for daytrips.

Fundraising began and the donated monies used to provide facilities for the recreation of patients of the Baldwin ward, with the object of enhancing their lives and allowing them enjoyable times outside of the hospital.

It was decided to obtain a narrowboat in order to provide waterway outings.


It required four years of extensive fundraising from 1983 before sufficient money was available to commission a narrowboat. This was ordered from a Youth Training Trust in Birkenhead, Merseyside and in 1988 narrowboat St Clare was ready for collection. The trust operated only this one boat for almost 15 years before obtaining a second vessel. During that time it had about 40 volunteers on its records.

In 2002 Leicester City Council sought proposals for restoring two narrowboats to use for community use. Dandelion and Charlotte had been leased to a charity, which ceased operating in late 1990's. The boats had been moored close to Abbey Park and for a time they had been operated by the park wardens but the boats had been left unused and were vandalised.

The Baldwin Trust was primarily interested in Dandelion because it was equipped with a lift to enable disabled passengers to be carried, so it made a bid to restore Dandelion which was accepted by the city council; but were asked to take both boats and restore them. Both boats were transferred to the Trust in 2002.


The Queen's Award for Voluntary Service
In 2010 the Baldwin Trust was pleased to be awarded the Queen's Award for voluntary service because of its work with the local community.
Baldwin Trust

Dandelion was taken to Redhill Marina where volunteers started the substantial work to return her to a working state. In 2003 the work was completed and Dandelion was returned to full service, initially at Bishop Meadow moorings then Pilling’s Lock Marina and now Barrow Boating.

In order to work on Charlotte the trust accepted an offer to partner the Inside-Out Trust on a restorative justice project. The boat was moved to Foxton and was taken on a low-loader to a workshop in Gartree Prison. Unfortunately the project did not complete a full working restoration. The boat was returned to Leicester Marina where the boat was made sailable and sold to another group on the Kennet & Avon Canal for further work.


We were very pleased to launch our third narrowboat, Halseyon Days, in August 2019, named after Bert Halsey – in honour of the founder of the Charity

Some time ago the Trustees extended the use of the boat to residents of rest and care homes, they now provide a majority of the client groups. The Trust also offers trips to family and community groups, particularly those with mobility and disability issues and has hosted visits of children from the Chernobyl as well as other overseas visitors.

In addition to the Trustees there is a wonderful team of nearly 100 volunteers attending to all manner of activities relating to the Trust.

Fundraising and donations continue – we are looking at the possibility of a new ‘green’ boat as we look to continue offering pleasurable and relaxing trips for many years to come.



c/o. 28 Holbourne Close

Barrow Upon Soar



LE12 8NE




Phone: 07923 817718




Phone: 07763 736906


General Enquiries:


Phone: 07933 148952

Charity No. 515488

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