Seagull Trust barges docked at Ratho ahead of the summer series of canal cruising. Picture Nigel Duncan Media

Seagull Trust Cruises have operated for nearly 40 years from the base in Ratho, providing trips in specially built canal boats, for those with special needs.

Now they are looking for volunteers to continue their good work as they start a new season of summer cruising on The Union Canal.

From now until October thousands of people of all ages and disabilities will enjoy the calm of a journey into the countryside.

Sailings take place seven days a week and sometimes the three boats may be out three times a day.

Chairman David Mieras said: “We’re heavily used and we rely on donations.

“We carry out our own maintenance but, if things need replacing, then we have to find the necessary funds.”

He is looking for helpers and said: “Volunteers need to enjoy working with people and mastering the joys of canaling.

“With so many trips, we need a lot of people who are keen to learn new skills and reap the rewards.”

Contact David on 0131 445 2022 for further details.