We love and care for your canals and rivers, because everyone deserves a place to escape.

Youth Engagement

Young people represent a new and previously under engaged audience for the waterways. They are our supporters, visitors, volunteers and workforce of the future and it is essential that we recognise both the value they can bring and the wealth of opportunities we can offer them.

Tony Hales and volunteer Lewis Marsh Tony Hales and volunteer Lewis Marsh

The following long term strategic objectives have been agreed by Trustees. By 2025:

  • 500,000 children & young people reflective of the range of communities we serve will each year broaden their learning and improve their skills through our waterways, museums & attractions.
  • 1 million children & young people each year will engage with us through volunteering, arts, education & learning, sports, cultural activities & social action
  • 150,000 hours of youth social actionIn recent years, we have seen a dramatic increase in both the number of young people getting involved with us and the range and diversity of youth activities and opportunities we offer.

The central youth engagement team has recently grown and we have been working hard to get fully 'youth fit' by updating our policies and safeguarding systems and providing guidance and training for staff and volunteers. 

There is already lots of great work happening across the waterways, particularly in the form of youth social action delivered by local volunteering teams and projects.

Working with partners including; NCS, the Scouts Association and Duke of Edinburgh Award, we are able to reach new audiences, develop a distinct and diverse youth offer and of course, make real progress towards our ambitious #Iwill pledge to engage 3000 young people over the next 3 years.

"This is an exciting time for youth engagement at the Trust. We are developing a distinct, diverse and engaging youth offer, the potential benefits of which are huge - for us, the young people themselves and the wider community." Lucie Unsworth, National Youth Engagement Manager

We currently have two flagship youth engagement projects running across the Trust - the ambitious 5 year Desmond Family Canoe Trail and A Million Hands, a 4 year national partnership with The Scouts Association, MIND, Dementia Friends, Guide Dogs, Leonard Cheshire Disability and Water Aid.  These projects are enabling us to have a significant impact across all waterways and will form a substantial part of our youth engagement work over the next few years.

This is an exciting time for this area of work and recently we have delivered local and national projects covering everything from the arts to angling, marketing to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) and lots in between!

Last date edited: 12 August 2016