A leisurely trip along the river was just the ticket for apprentice engineers who have been learning how the skills of their trade can be used to benefit the wider community.
And the team from NETA Training could feel an extra sense of pride in the journey as they had helped put a roof on the leisure boat, which opens up the river to all.
“The previous frame work had collapsed meaning the boat could only be used when the weather was fine and sunny,” said Dave Thompson, Strategy Business Development Co-ordinator at NETA.
Enlisting the support of apprentice Luke, who is currently working for IMH, and Sam and Jordan, apprentices with Chromex, the apprentices were provided with a detailed brief.
With the boat shipped over to NETA’s workshop in Stockton, Luke, Sam and Jordan, set about measuring up and creating a template to ensure the exact measurements of the frame.
Dave said: “We were happy to be able to share our expertise and it was a great project for the apprentices who got the chance to work to a live brief and put the skills that they have learnt into practise in the real world.
“When all the angles and the curvature of the boat had been measured using a string line, the five hoops were bent from aluminium to create the shape of the frame.”
Tees Wheelyboats is a voluntary run organisation that runs boat trips for people of all ages with disabilities.
Tees Wheelyboats’ Tony Campbell said: “The wheelyboat has a flat deck which is ideally suited to for those who use a wheelchair and the flexible seating arrangement can be adapted to suit individual needs.”
Offering trips along the river to both individuals and groups during the summer months, he said: “Members of Tees Wheelyboats are all volunteers who enjoy boating on the Tees and taking others out to enjoy the sights and sounds of the landscape.”
Relying on donations to support the operational costs of the boat, the help to create a new boat cover was gratefully received. And a quick trip along the river seemed the perfect way to say thanks!