BW recognises best volunteer projects

Published: Saturday, 17 October 2009

BRITISH Waterways is celebrating the importance of volunteers to the nation's canals and rivers by recognising ten groups across the regions whose work, it states, has dramatically benefited the waterways over the past 12 months.

Announcing this, it tells:

'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. The annual presentation of these 'acknowledgement' awards to ten projects that have illustrated the successful partnership between volunteer groups and the waterways is one of the ways in which British Waterways celebrates the volunteers on its network'.

The ten projects were nominated by British Waterways' staff and the presentations were made through September and October by British Waterways' regional general managers.

The ten groups

The ten volunteer groups that have been selected for recognition are:

  • Scotland—Caol in Bloom, for improvements to the area and working with the community to take pride in the Caledonian Canal.
  • North West—Lancaster Canal Trust for numerous projects including the restoration of Hincaster Horse Path (a Scheduled Ancient Monument).
  • Yorkshire—Project Pugwash for the Towpath Tidy at Fall Ings near Wakefield.
  • Wales & Border Counties—Volunteers from the Macclesfield Canal Society for the Ramsdell Hall railings restoration.
  • West Midlands—Birmingham Canal Navigation Society for various reactive and planned projects, public events and festivals.
  • East Midlands—The Grantham Canal Society for helping to sustain the waterway and engage more volunteers.
  • South West—Young Gloucestershire for improving the presentation of Gloucester Docks.
  • South East—The Inland Waterways Association Milton Keynes Branch for canal clean ups.
  • London—GlaxoSmithKline for the Orange Day Events on the Grand Union Canal.
  • Central—Waterway Recovery Group for the Droitwich Barge Lock restoration.

Robin Evans, chief executive at British Waterways, explained:

"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 are making the choice to volunteer and put something back into the community in these tough times. All the groups have done fantastic jobs and deserve to be celebrated. They are a great example of what volunteering can achieve, and we are proud to be associated with them.

"I'd like to thank all our volunteers 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."

Last year British Waterways tells us it was involved with volunteer-led projects that contributed 16,000 volunteer days to the promotion and upkeep of the waterways worth in excess of £1 million, doubling 2007-8's total of 8,000 volunteer days and worth of £400,000.