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Waveney Stardust Trust marks 25 years of making Norfolk Broads more accessible

PUBLISHED: 14:59 31 August 2017 | UPDATED: 15:16 31 August 2017

Waveney Stardust I (right), which has been taking people on trips for 25 years, alongside Waveney Stardust II (left).

Waveney Stardust I (right), which has been taking people on trips for 25 years, alongside Waveney Stardust II (left).

Archant

A volunteer-led charity is celebrating 25 years of making one of the East’s most well recognised landmarks even more accessible.

For a quarter of a century, Waveney Stardust has been providing elderly people and those with disabilities their gateway to the Norfolk Broads.

With spacious, fully wheelchair accessible cruisers, the service has been presenting people who would otherwise have not been able to take in the famous waters, with the chance to fully enjoy their charms.

While the organisation formed slightly earlier, 2017 is the 25th year it has been able to put on boat trips, after raising money for its first vessel.

To celebrate this milestone, an event was held in Furlingham to thank all those who have given up their time to support the cause, which was attended by more than 100 people.

Ginnette Lovegrove, chairman of Waveney Stardust Trust, said: “We are very proud of the service we have provided to the area over the last 25 years.

“Now we are looking on to the future and how we can continue to be as welcoming as possible to the people who come on our trips.”

In its 25 years, it is estimated that the cruisers have taken out more than 65,000 passengers, covering 85,000 miles of the Broads in the process.

People can choose one of four starting points for their trips - Beccles, Norwich, Brundall and Stalham - as they get to enjoy the Broads to their full.

Ms Lovegrove, who spent three years volunteering as a crew member before taking on the chairman’s role, added: “The most rewarding part is seeing people’s faces as they get off the boat after their trips.”

The charity now has a roster of almost 50 volunteers, with the eldest being aged in their 80s.

It is celebrating recently becoming the nominated charity for the Broom Owners Club.

It has also recently worked alongside the Youngeyes of the Norfolk and Norwich Association for the Blind, putting on mini trips for more than 40 visually-impaired passengers in one day.

The 25th anniversary celebration was held on Saturday, August 19.

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