case study

The Kensington Boat Project

The ‘Margaret Kane’ is a wide-beam canal boat, purpose built in 2007.

In 2006, the late Margaret Kane very kindly bequeathed part of her estate to the Kensington Foundation. Margaret’s life was dedicated to helping others in her career as a nurse. The ‘Kensington Boat Project’ was established enabling Margaret’s donation to be used to fund the building of a boat and to continue to help others for many years to come.

The ‘Margaret Kane’ is managed and run by volunteers. The venture is non-profit making, and is self funding in order to cover running and maintenance costs.

The mission of the Kensington Foundation Boat Project is to provide memorable, affordable, holidays on the Lancaster Canal for families needing additional support.

BaKare Beds had been approached by the Kensington Foundation with regard to providing a specialist bed, in order to make the boat more accessible for families who have special care needs.

what we did

The Solution

BaKare Beds specified and supplied a special order reduced length BaKare Residential bed which was delivered and installed in May 2012. This bed offered motorised electronic height adjustment and profiling, meaning that the head end and area under the knees could be raised independently using a hand control. Removable assist rails offered security and reduced the risk of the user falling from bed, but could also be folded down or removed if not required.

Measuring 57 feet x 10 feet, the ‘Margaret Kane’ was designed to accommodate and cater for up to 10 people including crew. The technical challenge faced by providing specialist equipment into a bedroom unique to a canal boat, meant it was unlikely that a standard sized height adjustable, profiling bed would fit within the space. BaKare Beds providing the Kensington Foundation with one of its demonstration beds to ensure it would be suitable for the size & shape of the room on the canal boat, and subsequently advised that a special order bed  to meet their size requirements would be the best solution.

Technical Specification

The Benefits

This solution meant that users who were unable to sleep flat benefitted from raising the head-section of the bed using its profiling. The height adjustment offered a way of raising the occupant to a height allowing comfortable changing and care by the parent or carer. Height adjustment also enabled easier transfers from bed to wheelchair and vice versa.

The supply and installation of the bed meant that the sleeping arrangements could now cater for clients with more complex special care needs.



“The feedback in our meeting was very positive.

From the Skippers point of view, we are very impressed with the bed and service provided by Bakare. Good communications and customer care demonstrated throughout, from initial enquiry to bringing along a sample bed to see how it would fit into our confined space on the boat, and then through processing our order and delivery and installation.

“They praised it for the ability to use it as a rise and fall “changing table” right next to the washing / showering facility on the boat, and importantly in private in the bedroom rather than using the settee in the galley as they had done last time. Using the rise and fall facility made it more convenient and very easy to use.”

Our only criticism is that it was suggested a delivery may be possible in less than normal excpected delivery of 12 weeks, but this was not achieved. It took longer than we would have liked to get the order process started, although we understand these days you need firm commitment before placing an order. It didn’t cause us enormous problem as we learned of this in advance and made alternate arrangements. Suggest caution in promising shorter delivery times when manufacturing is done elsewhere.

All of the families who have visited the boat since we installed the bed, who would benefit by the availability of such a bed, have all also been very positive. The carer and family of a 15 year old who was confined to a wheelchair visited the boat on just a day trip. They came last year with the bedroom and bed before we made alterations and installed the Bakare Bed.  They praised it for the ability to use it as a rise and fall “changing table” right next to the washing / showering facility on the boat, and importantly in private in the bedroom rather than using the settee in the galley as they had done last time. Using the rise and fall facility made it more convenient and very easy to use.

This is like the bed we have at home and it’s great that we have provided this facility”  Mr & Mrs S from near Preston

Another family with a child suffering from cerebral palsey made great use of the bed. They loved the fact that the bed could lower to an easy level to get the child in and out of bed. Side rails that can be lifted and dropped made it easier to lift the child into bed. The child was unable to lie flat and so being able to raise the head end made for a more comfortable sleep for the child. “The bed is great, I would love to have one like it at home but to have it on the boat is terrific” Mr & Mrs McB, from Scotland

All in all feedback has been positive, even for those who don’t need a special bed have been impressed by us providing such a facility. “adding such a very special facility to a canal boat makes it all the more accessible for families who have special care needs, it’s terrific”. Name unknown, potential future customer looking at facilities we have to offer

A resounding success so far I would say.”

The Kensington Foundation may be contacted using the details below:

Tel: 01253 761334

Tim Murphy
The Kensington Foundation
The Lodge
216 Whitegate Drive
Lancashire FY3 9JL

Registered Charity No. 1044235

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