CRT appoints second welfare officer

Canal & River Trust (CRT) has appointed a second Welfare Officer, Michelle Simmonds,who is based in the North of England. She can be contacted via Sean Williams, who was appointed in November 2014 to the then new post of Welfare Officer, will continue to handle existing welfare cases and provide cover for the welfare officer role on Wednesdays, but will otherwise become CRT’s Safeguarding Project Officer. All new enquiries from disabled, pregnant or elderly boaters regarding their rights under the Equality Act, reasonable adjustments and any other welfare needs (yours or someone else’s) should be directed to Michelle Simmonds.

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CRT created the post of Welfare Officer following  a campaign started by the NBTA to stop CRT evicting elderly, disabled and ill boaters. This campaign was widely taken up and resulted in considerable pressure on CRT to uphold the Equality Act rights of boaters. The NBTA helped to write the job description: the remit includes ensuring that CRT complies with the Equality Act.