Community Spirit 2 

About Us

Founded in 1994, and registered as a charity on the 26th January 1996, EMCBP’s objective was to provide a free day out on the canal for those who may be disabled or disadvantaged. On the 28th February 2013 EMCBP became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO number 1155976) and its object was to assist in the provision of facilities, in the interests of social welfare, for recreation, education or other leisure time, occupation of persons mainly in the East of Manchester and Greater Manchester areas, who have need of such facilities by reason of their disability. In the event of spare capacity to also include persons who are disadvantaged by social and economic circumstances with the object of improving and enhancing their conditions of life. (EMCBP – Constitution dated 28.02.2014)

Our Team
All our skippers, crew and trustees are volunteers who offer their time and expertise free of charge. Our members are strictly vetted before being accepted as full members, and new volunteers are always welcome! No previous boating experience is necessary as those wishing to crew the boat can receive full training – by qualified trainers, to nationally recognised standards. However, those who wish just to be part of the project are very welcome to join. The amount of time volunteers give to the project is theirs to decide. Crew members learn about the boat and they support passengers during their day out and, if they wish, volunteers can train to become skippers. Others may wish to help “behind the scenes” with publicity, marketing or administration.

Download our volunteer flyer

Some of our members with their certificates

EMCBP is a National Community Boats Association Accredited Training Centre and can provide training and certification to third parties.


Our Constitution and Policy Documents are available from the secretary if required.

Sponsor a seat
For £250 companies can sponsor a seat on board “Community Spirit 2” for 12 months. They receive a Sponsorship Contract and Certificate and are invited to a 2-hour VIP buffet lunch and cruise during the summer. Sponsors’ names are displayed on board the boat.

What our customers say about us

Dear Sue,

Just a quick line to say a heartfelt thankyou for getting us onboard Community Spirit. To say we enjoyed the day, was, frankly, a masterpiece of understatement. Not only had we scored superb weather, but we were very impressed with the general organisation and facilities on offer. The boat was a real asset to the organisation, but the crew made the difference. Both John and Syd were the epitome of professionalism and courtesy. And darned friendly, to boot. Both of them put us right at ease, and both had interesting stories to tell. They were an absolute credit to the organisation. Thoroughly ‘good eggs’, both of them.

To say Helen was impressed, also, is somewhat less than the truth. It was one of the best things she’s ever done – and she’s done some things, I can tell you !!  It would have been a blast even if it had poured it down all day, but the only issue was the possibility of sunburn! Who’da thunk it? I even got a turn on the tiller, and the boat survived. It all passed too quickly.

Helen said she’d loved to have volunteered as crew, or some other capacity, had she been in ‘fettle’ to do so, as would I. It is a most worthwhile thing to do.  Anyhoo, thankyou again for fixing us up, we will remember this with the greatest affection for the rest of our days.

Stay safe, kindest regards,

Nigel and Helen Hebblethwaite.

Helen Hebblethwaite on CS2

Karen McPartland

Day Service Officer,

Wilshaw House.

Morning Stewart,

Myself, Andy and the members would just like to say a big thank you for the  canal visit yesterday, the crew were very helpful and but their heart and soul into it.

Among those who benefit are members from the National Autistic Society who go out every Thursday on the boat. “For the people we support, it is like the perfect day coming out on the water,” explains team leader Mark Cooke, from the National Autistic Society. “And I have never had an incident, which must be an indicator that things are going right and they enjoy it,” he adds. 


"It is so peaceful on the water. And the sensory element of it, like the slow pace, and movement, makes them feel calm. There is also structure to the day, which helps with people who have autism. In December, the water froze over, and made a crunchy noise when we glided through, they found that intriguing.”


Mark added: “There is also the socialising element. When they meet people in the local community it helps them to better understand their condition. We always stop halfway through the trip along the river bank and go collect fish and chips, and have a chat with people.


“When we are on the barge, people wave and we are just just part of the community on the water like anyone else. There should be more opportunities like this in the community, why should those who are a little different be locked away behind closed doors?”






I, along with members of The PHAB Club, have been on “Community Spirit 2” lots of times and we always enjoy ourselves.   For instance, when somebody in the group has a birthday we sometimes have fish and chips and eat them on the boat.    We also like listening to the music and the very informative chat.

It does not matter if it is raining, snowing or very cold because inside the boat there is lots of room - enough for four wheelchairs, walking disabled and carers.   There is a very big lift to get everyone on board and inside the boat.

On behalf of everyone from the PHAB club, I would like to say a big thank you to all the crew and volunteers who work so hard to maintain the boat.   They do a splendid job, which is very much appreciated.


(A very satisfied customer)