Volunteer work on the Grantham Canal

Published: Friday, 06 November 2009

VOLUNTEER work on the Grantham Canal has dramatically benefited the waterway over the past 12 months, and British Waterways has presented the Grantham Canal Society with an 'acknowledgement' award.

The photograph shows East Midlands Waterway Manager Sean McGinley (on the right) presenting Grantham Canal Society Chairman Mike Stone with an award certificate, together with members of the society.

These awards celebrate the importance of volunteers to the East Midlands canals and rivers by recognising those involved, and is one of ten projects so acknowledged, with British Waterways explaining:

Volunteering plays a vital role in British Waterways' duty to maintain and protect the 2,200 miles of inland canals and rivers it cares for. Once a year, it celebrates the contribution of volunteers by presenting an 'acknowledgement' award to ten projects that have illustrated the successful partnership between volunteer groups and the waterways.

In the East Midlands the Grantham Canal Society was chosen for its work throughout the past 12 months proactively helping to maintain the waterway and engage more volunteers. Their efforts, which have included fencing repairs and improving access to culverts allowing easier inspections, have helped save British Waterways considerable time and money.

The Society has also worked to actively promote the canal as a leisure destination and attract more visitors by coordinating the restoration of two wharves for future use by trip boats.

Sean McGinley, waterway manager for the East Midlands, presented the team with its award at an informal lunch at The Rutland Arms on the Grantham Canal on Friday 30th October.

Worth in excess of £1 million

Last year British Waterways was involved with volunteer-led projects that contributed 15,994 volunteer days to the promotion and upkeep of the waterways worth in excess of £1 million.

Sean McGinley, BW waterway manager, comments:

"The waterways have a long history of volunteering and the actions of these groups and individuals are still central to the delivery of physical works, customer service, research and promotional activities. We are delighted that people in the East Midlands are making the choice to volunteer and put something back into the community in these tough times. This year we specifically wanted to recognise the work of the Grantham Canal Society who have made a fantastic contribution to the maintenance of the canal over the last twelve months. They are a great example of what volunteering can achieve, and we are proud to work with them.

"I'd like to thank all the volunteers in the East Midlands for the time, passion and dedication they have shared with British Waterways over the past year, and hope that we will continue to nurture these relationships in the future."

Mike Stone, Chairman of the Grantham Canal Society replied:

"The society is delighted to be a recipient of this award which recognises a significant effort by all concerned to work together to achieve improvements on the Grantham Canal.

"We are pleased that British Waterways management and staff are able to recognise the valuable contribution volunteers can make and hope that the progress made will be both maintained and increased in future years as the Society recruits more volunteers."
Waterway photographs by Pam Pickett.